Americans Not Too Keen On Riding Self-Driving Cars, Study


Majority of Americans, Britons and Australians are still hesitant about buying and riding self-driving cars although it offers promising technology, according to a new study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.

In the survey about partial (Level 3 technology) or fully autonomous (Level 4" technology) cars, nearly 54 percent of respondents were worried about partially autonomous vehicles and 60 percent were apprehensive about riding fully autonomous cars.

Surprisingly, the researchers found increased opposition to self-driving cars in the United States with 66 percent having concerns about riding in these vehicles, Vox reports.

One of the biggest hindrances facing self-driving cars involve politics and regulation. Autonomous vehicles will be subjected to more scrutiny and stricter standards than conventional cars and trucks.

"The first accident that's caused by a computer malfunction will freak everyone out far beyond the thousands of car accidents caused by humans," said ENO Director Joshua Schank, Washington Post reports.

The survey also found that 42 percent of respondents would at least think about buying or leasing the car. And, just 10 percent of American respondents would pay an additional $5,800 for the technology. Even though these are small numbers, the researchers believe that it is a promising finding as it would allow the technology to cement its position.

Another obstacle self-driving cars might face is the cost of the vehicles. The first wave of autonomous vehicles is estimated over $100,000 - five times the cost of the average new vehicle. For example: the 3-D sensors on Google's autonomous car alone costs about $70,000. The strict regulations on these cars could drive up the prices even further.

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