While more than half of Americanshave favorable opinions about self-driving vehicles, most believe that humansare still better drivers than automated technology, say University of Michiganresearchers.
The same goes for those inAustralia and the United Kingdom, although residents there are less concernedabout safety, security and privacy issues associated with autonomous vehicles.
Brandon Schoettle and MichaelSivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute surveyed more than 1,500American, Australian and British residents about their views regarding limitedand completely self-driving vehicles.
They found that roughly 57percent of respondents from all three countries have positive opinions aboutautomated technology in vehicles (compared to about 14 percent with negativeviews) and a majority have high expectations about its benefits. More than 70percent believe that self-driving vehicles will result in fewer crashes,reduced severity of crashes and better fuel economy.
Even still, nearly three-fourthsof Americans and two-thirds of Australians and British are moderately or veryconcerned about self-driving vehicle performance compared to human drivers.More than three-fourths of all respondents are very or moderately concernedabout the safety consequences of equipment or system failure and about fullyautonomous vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations.
In addition, roughly two-thirdsare very or moderately concerned about system and vehicle security (from hackers),data privacy (location and destination tracking), system performance in poorweather, and interacting with other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Despite high levels of concernwith self-driving technology, about two-thirds of the survey respondents saythey are at least slightly, if not very, interested in owning and/or drivingautonomous vehicles. Although a majority are not willing to pay extra for thetechnology, a quarter of Americans said they would pay at least $2,000 extra,while a quarter of Australians and British would pay at least $2,350 and$1,710, respectively.
“Motorists and the generalpublic in all three countries surveyed, while expressing high levels of concernabout riding in vehicles equipped with this technology, feel positive aboutself-driving vehicles, have optimistic expectations of the benefits andgenerally desire self-driving vehicle technology when it becomesavailable,” Schoettle said.