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Has Public Support for Self-Driving Vehicles Decreased After Recent Accidents?

Earlier this year, a young Arizona woman was struck and killed by an Uber vehicle that was operating in autonomous mode. Once public surveys were conducted after the incident, it was found that public opinion for autonomous vehicles had heavily decreased. Now, in the late summer of 2018, young and tech-savvy consumers are still expressing their concerns about self-driving vehicles and how safe they really are.

Why Is the Public Still Distrusting of Self-Driving Vehicles?

In a survey of over 1,200 people, Cox Automotive (an auto-industry company) followed up in a study in 2016. Since then, public awareness and general education of self-driving cars and technology has grown significantly. However, trust in their safety has decreased.

In the 2016 survey, a few important factors were discussed among the public that helped to support this conclusion:

  • 30 percent of the people surveyed stated they would never buy a self-driving vehicle that didn’t give them the choice to drive themselves. However, in 2018 surveys, this number has jumped to 49 percent.
  • For young people born in the mid 1990’s (Generation Z), backing for fully autonomous vehicles dropped 70 percent. Baby Boomers showed an even larger decrease in support with 78 percent.
  • Most surveyors showed support for Level 4 vehicles, meaning they wanted cars that would drive themselves but still gave the option for them to manually operate the vehicle as well. In 2018, however, most people wanted a Level 2 vehicle, meaning they want driver-assist features but not full automation.

Due to the publicity of these self-driving vehicle accidents, the fear and distrust of the safety of these autonomous vehicles has increased. If you have been involved in a self-driving vehicle accident, or if you would like to stay updated on autonomous vehicle news, visit our website or contact our Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC today for a free consultation.

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