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Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study

Consumer apprehension grows over autonomous tech, study says

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Article Highlights

  1. Increasing awareness of self-driving vehicles is fueling apprehension about the safety of the technology, a new survey reveals.
  2. Nearly half of the 1,250 consumers surveyed said they would never buy a Level 5 (or fully autonomous) vehicle, according to a Cox Automotive consumer attitudes study released Thursday. That’s up from 30 percent of the 2,264 people polled two years ago.
  3. Driverless vehicles are seen as less safe by consumers than they were two years ago, with the vehicle autonomy preference shifting from Level 4 to Level 2 -- the level currently available. The number of respondents who believe roads would be safer if all vehicles were fully autonomous vs. operated by people has decreased 18 percentage points in two years.

Increasing awareness of self-driving vehicles is fueling apprehension about the safety of the technology, a new survey reveals.

Nearly half of the 1,250 consumers surveyed said they would never buy a Level 5 (or fully autonomous) vehicle, according to a Cox Automotive consumer attitudes study released Thursday. That’s up from 30 percent of the 2,264 people polled two years ago.

SAE International recognizes five levels of vehicle autonomy, ranging from Level 0 (human-only control) to Level 5 (no steering wheels, pedals and human control).

Driverless vehicles are seen as less safe by consumers than they were two years ago, with the vehicle autonomy preference shifting from Level 4 to Level 2 — the level currently available. The number of respondents who believe roads would be safer if all vehicles were fully autonomous vs. operated by people has decreased 18 percentage points in two years.

People, it seems, are not ready to let go of the steering wheel.

Nearly 85 percent of respondents in the 2018 survey think people should always have the option to drive themselves even in a self-driving vehicle, compared with 16 percent who would feel comfortable letting an autonomous vehicle drive them without the ability to take control.

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