Americans More Comfortable with Self-Driving Cars

Cockpit of a car running in self driving mode with a relaxed driver.

According to AAA, U.S. drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles. Their annual survey revealed a 15 percent drop in the number of drivers that have fear to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Although 63 percent are still not comfortable with a driverless car or truck, that number is down from 78 percent as measured last year.

In particular, millennials and men are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half stating that they would be afraid of riding in a self-driving car. However, AAA’s survey also showed that only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling safer sharing the road with autonomous vehicles, while nearly half (46 percent) would feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37 percent) or unsure (four percent).

Additional survey results include:

  • Females (73 percent) are more likely than males (52 percent) to be afraid of riding in an autonomous vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55 percent versus 36 percent).
  • Millennials are embracing self-driving vehicles the most strongly, with only 49 percent (down from 73 percent) stating that they would be fearful of riding in a self-driving car.
  • Although the number has dropped, baby boomers (68 percent from 85 percent a year ago) are still not overly comfortable with riding in a self-driving car.
  • Baby boomers (54 percent) and Generation X (47 percent) drivers are more likely than millennial drivers (34 percent) to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car.
  • Regardless of fears over self-driving vehicles, U.S. drivers continue to be confident in their driving abilities. Even though more than 90 percent of crashes involve human error, 73 percent of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.
  • In particular, eight out of 10 men consider their driving skills better than average.
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