A new United Kingdom-based study conducted by CarGurus confirms a trend that’s been popping up lately: most drivers aren’t confident in sharing the road with fully-autonomous vehicles.
The site surveyed just over 1,000 automobile owners in the UK to understand their thoughts regarding self-driving cars, making sure to balance respondents by race, income, gender, and more.
The study showed that, overall, 36 percent of respondents were concerned about the development of self-driving cars, with another 35 percent identifying as neutral and 30 percent as excited. 41 percent of respondents said they would not be comfortable in any self-driving car scenario, whether they were the one behind the wheel or they were sharing the road with autonomous delivery vehicles.
When CarGurus broke the questions down into driving assistance features, though, a lot of people were excited. People love the concept of the back-up camera or automatic parking. Other, more opaque features like rear cross-traffic alert (which needs a definition to understand) didn’t register as much interest.
Ultimately, CarGurus offers a few points that sum up the sentiment of the survey:
- More people are concerned about autonomous vehicles than they are excited. It’ll take more convincing and safety assurances to get people involved.
- Most buyers would rather have driver assistance features but still be in charge.
- People have expectations for how they plan on using autonomous cars, so those cars should cater to those expectations and use those expectations to clarify the benefits of owning or using AV tech.
- Consumers feel that Tesla is most likely to develop safe AV tech, but at the same time, consumers are also more likely to lose trust in a brand that overpromises and underdelivers.
It is important to note that fully-autonomous technology is not available right now. We don’t have that technology. We aren’t really close to having that technology. All driver assist systems on the market right now require a degree of human input and monitoring to function smoothly — so this autonomous future is still quite a few years away.