Maybe Americans Have No Idea What They Want In Self-Driving Cars

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

The narrative over the last few years has been (expectedly) that Americans are nervous about self-driving cars hitting the road, but they’re jazzed about the prospect of having the technology in their own vehicle—but maybe they don’t want to pay extra for it! Perhaps we just have no idea what we want in AVs.


This comes from the AAA, which released a study on Tuesday that reaffirmed much of this: For one thing, a majority of Americans aren’t pumped about sharing the road with self-driving cars, which isn’t exactly a boneheaded sentiment—mixing human-driven and robot cars will likely cause innumerable problems on its own.

Nonetheless, the AAA study found that 59 percent of Americans want autonomous features in their next vehicle, despite the fact that 78 percent said they’re afraid to drive in a self-driving car. Huh.

Photo: AAA
Photo: AAA

AAA says the disparity is probably explained by American drivers being ready to embrace autonomous technology, however “they are not ready to give up full control.” Lucky for them, ceding full control to a robot car is some time away.

Perhaps the most interesting thing of the AAA study is that only 41 percent of millennials said they’ll feel less safe about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. Now if only they could improve on how they buy a car.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk


I wish they’d develop anti-tailgating technology and implement if as a mandatory feature.