Is America ready for the fully self-driving car?

While engineers and automobile manufacturers seem to be in a rush to get autonomous vehicles on American roads, consumers might have other ideas. New research shows a low level of confidence in these vehicles among most consumers today.

Most people in Connecticut have read or heard reports about the emergence of fully self-driving cars and how they might soon take over area roads and highways. However, while technologies are advancing rapidly, there are many other factors that also need to adapt before autonomous vehicles become the norm. Among these are consumer confidence and legislative oversight. Safety and practical matters like liability need to be addressed in more depth before human drivers are really going to give up their control.

Consumer confidence low, per new study

Consumer satisfaction giant J.D. Power and Associates recently teamed up with Survey Monkey to roll out its first of what is intended to be a quarterly study taking a look at consumer confidence in autonomous vehicles.

As reported by Automotive News, a whopping 55% of consumers said they were either no so likely or not at all likely to lease or buy a self-driving car. Out of those consumers, 36% fell into the category who said they were not at all likely to do so. Only 11% of people said they were extremely likely to buy or lease an autonomous vehicle.

The study, called the J.D. Power Mobility Confidence Index Study also rated consumer confidence of self-driving vehicles on a 100-point scale. Overall, consumer confidence was found to be at a 34.

Fears that some technology in the vehicle could fail were identified by 71% of people as a reason to be wary of self-driving cars. Other top concerns included security and the potential for hackers to take control of the vehicle, liability in the event of an accident, and the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Brooklyn's new commercial autonomous fleet

The Verge reported that a set of six-seater autonomous vehicles is now operating a 1.1-mile roundtrip route between the New York City ferry dock and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where an estimated 10,000 people currently work. One reason that this location was chosen for this roll-out was the fact that the streets are private, not public. Optimus, the company behind the operation, did not have to deal with the legal hurdles involved in other locations.

An uncertain future for self-driving vehicle technology

An article in Forbes may well have summed things up well when it comes to self-driving cars and American consumers: the most likely scenario for some time is an increase in features that assist human drivers instead of a full replacement of human drivers.

Connecticut residents who want to learn more about how to protect themselves in case they are ever involved in an accident in which any autonomous vehicle or even individual feature is a factor should always talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.