The automobile industry is buzzing with excitement over the possibilities for autonomous vehicles, and they are already being tested on U.S. roads. But what do average Americans think of driverless cars? Will they be embraced in the future?
Kelly Blue Book, the car valuation and research firm, commissioned a study to gather public opinion about autonomous vehicles. The results show that the public may slow down the driverless vehicle technology in the United States market.
The findings from the Kelly Blue Book study show that Americans are wary of the new technology. Instead, drivers prefer to have cars with some self-driving capabilities, but with the ability to override and take control as needed.
Given the push to move forward by the auto industry, autonomous vehicles could greatly alter the driving landscape by 2020. By that point, Kelly Blue Book reports approximately 6 out of 10 people will be interested in at least partially autonomous cars.
More than half of the study’s respondents preferred to be in control of their vehicles, even if it means that roads are less safe. They view fully autonomous vehicles as more of a solution for mobility-limited drivers, senior citizens and in situations involving alcohol.
“In the U.S., we are a driving culture. Everybody has a car,” said Rebecca Lindland, senior director of commercial insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Whereas in some of these other places, if you only know ridesharing, if you never own a car and you only rideshare, that’s going to be perfectly normal for you.”
The Kelly Blue Book study was conducted back in May by the market research firm Vital Findings. They surveyed 2,264 respondents ranging from 12 to 64 years old.