Many are saying “No thanks, I’ll take the wheel” to the prospect of self-driving cars according to a survey conducted by the ORC International for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
While automakers are insisting that autonomous cars will be available by the end of the decade, the report says that only 18 percent of those asked would consider buying a car outfitted with an e-chauffeur. The problem according to two-thirds of those surveyed, is that they just don’t trust the new technology and would feel unsafe about letting the car take control.
It’s important the point out that over 30,000 lives are claimed in car crashes every year and many of which due to driver error. In theory, a self-driving car wouldn’t make a risky pass or dash through a yellow traffic-light, putting its occupants and others at risk. An autonomous car wouldn’t be distracted by text messages, social media or unruly passengers.
Regardless, consumers don’t seem to be sold on the idea. The survey does point out that many drivers are interested in other safety technology including lane-departure warnings and forward collision prevention systems. About 70 percent responded with the intent to buy a car with adaptive cruise control, which maintains a set distance from the car ahead and is capable of braking. In contrast, only one third found the idea of a self-parking car appealing.
Self-driving or autonomous cars are an important topic these days, so much so that the 2013 L.A. Auto Show is dedicated a whole day to the showcase new connected car technology.