Consumers Not Craving Self-Driving Cars

As the auto industry and big tech companies invest, team and pour resources into the development and production of self-driving vehicles, consumer demand doesn’t seem to be in sync with the movement.

Now yet another survey is out showing that consumers are not comfortable with the idea of cars driving themselves.

A large majority (90%) of consumers say the driver always should be able to take over from a self-driving car should it be needed, according to a survey of 1,700 consumers conducted by the U.K.-based IAM Road Smart, formerly called the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

More than 70% also said they would not feel safe traveing in a self-driving car, with 75% disagreeing that the vehicle should always be in “ultimate control.”

However, more than half of those surveyed say they are comfortable with using current auto technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane-assist and self-parking.

If fully autonomous vehicles became widely available, 82% of consumers did not think that human drivers should be banned from driving on roads.

An earlier study conducted by Russell Research for HNTB American found that the majority (52%) of Americans are familiar with or knowledgeable about autonomous vehicles.

Half of U.S. adults say fully automated or self-driving vehicles are more dangerous than traditional cars driven by people, according to a recent survey by Reuters/Ipsos.

An annual study by AAA found that seven in 10 (71%) consumers would be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle while a similar study a year earlier found similar results.

8 comments about "Consumers Not Craving Self-Driving Cars".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 8, 2019 at 5:23 p.m.

    Consumers years ago did not crave airbags or seat belts either, but they got them and pay extra for the safety. The insurance industry greatly influences how cars are made. First with higher rates for self-driving and then with much, much higher rates for self-driving. Guess who wins? Even the Government will not oppose safety.

  2. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , July 8, 2019 at 7:26 p.m.

    Hey Chuck, All you have to do is email these tech geeks my comments, and they would know that this is DBA, Dead Before Arrival along time ago.  I had mentioned before that I know a GM at a Southwest Virginia Ford dealer, and he said they want NOTHING to do with self driving cars.

    All these Sadie Hawkins pairings will "justify" their technology by saying they will work out the bugs with "Gro-carts"  (grocery delivery without paying a driver)  Millions and Billions
    are being wasted on this just to say "we did it", but the ones who will use it are saying, "we don't want it"    Did anyone put a price tag on the self driving equipment yet?  Volvo says it takes  about 10-15 laptops  to make the car run, not to mention the sensors, radar and infrastructure from municipalities.   Ain't gonna happen, folks.

    Douglas, you are making a huge assumption that Auto-tonomous cars are safer.   No proof there.  All computer "models"  (just like global warming).  Air bags, seat belts, motorcycle helmets,  did not interfere with me controling my vehicle to it's destination. 

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, July 8, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Douglas and Mark, you present a great pro-con case for self-driving cars.

  4. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, July 11, 2019 at 3:57 p.m.

    Is that a trick question, Doug? Your "Guess who wins?"

    For starters, this is an article about CHOICE. Your comparison to seat belts and airbags is apples to orange.

    The government forces me to wear seat belts at the point of a gun by making it illegal for me to choose not to. This, despite mixed data on the overall safety of the things (there are plenty of studies demonstrating many avoidable deaths in car accidents that occur BECAUSE of the inability to untether oneself from a seat belt post-crash).

    As for airbags, if I'm buying a new car, again, I have no choice. But there are really no downsides to airbags (discomfort while driving, or problems when they deploy during crashes). So, relatively speaking... no harm/no foul vis a vis seat belts.

    I will CHOOSE to never purchase a self-driving car partly because I grew up with the sheer enjoyment of driving great cars (and still buy only manual transmissions because of the joy of shifting, and really feeling the road). Are you suggesting that government will some day prohibit me from purchasing a car that requires my own driving skills? That government will one day force me to buy a "self-driving" car, and deny me the sheer pleasure of driving a wonderfully made automobile myself? If so, I think you've lost your mind.

    Self-driving cars are already plowing over, and killing pedestrians in streets and one need look no further than the Boeing 737 AirMax 8 with all its technological advances (designed to save the environment) that keeps falling out of the sky, and killing 150 souls at a pop "due to software glitches." The safest, most reliable workhorse in global aviation history, the 737, is now GROUNDED because a bunch of dumbasses decided to go "George Jetson?"

    Sorry about your mom, dad, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandma, grandpa being eviscerated in that crash (;>)} Rest assured that the next software patch should stop that damn techologocal marvel from falling out of the sky with your loved ones aboard.

    Seriously... self-driving cars? Dumbest marketing idea ever. Even if they wound up being less expensive than regular automobiles (and they never will) I would never buy one.

    People crave the feel of the wheel, and the freedom that comes from a jaunt on an open road. Nobody craves a software package "driving" the car. What, so people can keep their noses in their ridiculous dumbphones all the time instead of most of the time? Dumbest, most bassackwards thing ever.

  5. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, July 11, 2019 at 6:39 p.m.

    Points well taken, Ken. The industry is coming around to the idea that individually owned self-driving cars are not in any immediate future, at least in the U.S. This thinking started around the time of the last CES in January, a dramatic shift from CES just a year earlier.

  6. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , July 11, 2019 at 10:27 p.m.

    Ken, we're on the same page.  I close my coments for the last 2+ years as
    "The Dumbest Idea of the 21st Century"  and " DBA Folks.......Dead Before Arrival"

    The most fun car I have is a 78 Mercury Monarch with a rare 302/4-speed combo.
    They made 585 of them.................It's not fast , but I have  control of my car , and
    most people don't even know one of the fun aspects of a 4-speed is to down shift instead of using  the know we play that little game with ourselves, right Ken?

  7. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, July 12, 2019 at 8:06 a.m.

    Oh yes R Mark. But it's really not "a game." That downshift is part of the driving experience, and allows us to NOT have to replace our brakes quite as often (although the "game" part of it might be the required clutch replacements as tradeoff). Where are you? I'd love to take a cruise with you in the Monarch, perhaps with a little Steve Miller on the eight track, or cassette. We can blast "Fly Like An Eagle" (as opposed to "Fly Like An AirMax8). My dad was a Madman from Doyle Dane Bernbach. An account guy on VW in the 60's and 70's. All we had in our driveway were stick-shift Beetles, Rabbits, Dashers, Karman Ghias, and Microbuses. The idea of self driving cars was "dumbass" back then, and remains "dumbass" five decades later.

  8. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, July 14, 2019 at 7:27 p.m.

    Chuck wrote...

    "the thinking that individually owned self-driving cars are not in any immediate future, at least in the U.S. started around the time of the last CES in January, a dramatic shift from CES just a year earlier."

    Something really important, and really predictable happened between those two CES shows...

    Software in that self-driving car registered ZERO REACTION to that wpoman crossing the street with her bicycle. It plowed into her at 40 MPH...

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