The impact of two fatal crashes involving automated vehicles earlier this year has dampened Americans’ interest in self-driving cars, according to a new survey.
The research, from insurer Allianz Global Assistance, found that less than half of Americans (43%) are now interested in using self-driving cars, down from just over half (53%) last year.
Allianz’s fourth annual Sharing Economy Index found that the drop in interest was primarily attributable to safety concerns (71% in 2018, compared to 65% in 2017), while other factors included cost/budget, a lack of familiarity with self-driving cars and bad publicity for the emerging technology.
At the same time, found the research, only a small majority of Americans (52%) say they are confident that the technology will develop safely enough to consider trading their conventional vehicles for self-driving ones.
“Based on consumer perceptions, our survey reveals an uncertain future for self-driving cars,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA.
“Many Americans are far from being convinced that self-driving cars can be operated safely on our streets. As our Future of Travel survey last year indicated, more travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving vehicle.”