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Are Consumers Ready for the Autonomous Car Revolution?

The self-driving revolution continues to amaze, and even bewilder, many drivers across the country. But as automakers and tech companies, many consumers are still on the fence about the technology going mainstream.

According to Consumer Reports, AAA, along with the University of Michigan, released a survey in which respondents were asked about their preferences when it comes to the self-driving technology. The answers surprised everyone, especially those who have been taking the industry’s stance as a thermometer of what the public really wants.

According to the survey report, 84 percent of the participants trust their own driving skills more than they would the fully autonomous car tech. At least 40 percent of surveyed individuals also claimed that they are either undecided or reluctant to embrace even the semi-autonomous tech, which is already being added to a series of new vehicles.

Some of the concerns raised by respondents include the added cost, which is tied to the costly technology used in the self-driving cars, and the fact that many feel that the technology is still much too new and unproven.

Respondents who already have vehicles fitted with semi-autonomous features were 75 percent more likely to trust the fully autonomous, self-driving cars than those who do not have any semi-autonomous systems in their vehicles. At least 61 percent of drivers polled responded that they would like at least one advanced safety features added to their vehicles.

A survey carried out previously by the Transportation Research Institute, which is part of the University of Michigan, indicated that 44 percent of the survey respondents would not add any self-driving capabilities to their vehicles. About 41 percent of the respondents claimed that they would like to have partial self-driving features in their vehicles, and only 15 percent said they would be comfortable owning fully automated cars.

To many, the fact that drivers are not as warm to the idea of owning self-driving cars is hard to believe. Since Google and other companies focused on developing self-driving technology are pushing the features as if there was a huge demand, many see the lukewarm response as something many of these companies should fear.

Until consumers are comfortable with the idea of embracing the self-driving technology, these companies will have to prove their systems are ready to put safety first.

For more on this survey, follow this link to read the full report.

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