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AAA survey reveals public's unease with fully automated cars

While experts say that fully automated vehicles are still a decade away from being realized, it helps for automakers to know what the public reception of these vehicles would be like. If a AAA survey conducted in January 2020 is any indication, most adults in Texas and across the U.S. are wary about autonomous vehicles.

Only 12% of respondents said they would feel safe riding in a self-driving car. Moreover, 28% said they are unsure what they should feel about self-driving cars. As for what might help to reassure consumers, several things were brought up.

Seventy-two percent said they would feel safe in an autonomous vehicle if it gave them the ability to take over in emergencies. A human back-up driver was what 69% said would reassure them. For 47%, it would be the knowledge that a car had gone through rigorous testing, and for 42%, it would be seeing or being a part of a demonstration before entering the car.

Respondents were also clear that they want more tangible information and news items regarding fully automated vehicles. Fifty-seven percent were concerned about liability in case a person crashes with a self-driving car. Fifty-one percent desired to know what laws would protect the cars, and 49% were curious as to how vulnerable the cars would be to hackers.

Currently, there are semi-autonomous vehicles on the road, and these are causing problems of their own. For instance, distracted driving accidents are occurring because drivers put too much trust in the features that these cars come with, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Many do not realize that these systems are meant to assist, not replace, drivers. As for people injured by a distracted driver, they may want to schedule a legal evaluation before filing a claim.

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