By the time that fully-autonomous, self-driving cars reach production, there’s no guarantee that a majority of consumers will trust the vehicles to get them from Point A to Point B in safety; according to data from a survey conducted earlier this year by Gartner, Inc., 55 percent of the 1,519 people surveyed in the US and Germany would not ride in a self-driving vehicle. (Granted, a majority – 71 percent of respondents – said that they would consider riding in a partially-autonomous vehicle.)
Despite that vehicle autonomy could make commuting much safer by removing human error from the driving equation, respondents fear that vehicles driven by sensors and computer software could be too prone to bugs, equipment failures, and security breaches to be totally safe. This is despite respondents’ recognition that autonomous vehicles could deliver advantages ranging from improved fuel economy, to a reduction in the quantity and severity of collisions.
“Fear of autonomous vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations, safety concerns around equipment and system failures and vehicle and system security are top concerns around using fully autonomous vehicles,” says Gartner Research Directors Mike Ramsey. According to the survey data, consumers who embrace mobility services like Uber and Lyft were more likely to support partially- and fully-autonomous vehicles. “This signifies that these more evolved users of transportation methods are more open toward the concept of autonomous cars,” Ramsey says.
The results from Gartner’s survey echo those of a survey conducted by J.D. Power, which revealed a growing lack of trust in self-driving-car technology among all age groups except for Generation Y – the so-called “Millennial Generation”. Even Generation Z, which includes those born in 1995 or later, expressed waning comfort with the idea of totally trusting autonomous vehicles.
(Source: Gartner, Inc.)