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Report finds drivers are worried about self-driving cars

According to a recent survey conducted by AAA, drivers are embracing the concept of vehicle technology but remain wary of self-driving cars. The survey found that while many drivers are content with partially automated vehicles, 68% of respondents expressed fear towards self-driving cars, indicating a 13% increase from last year.

Self-driving cars are capable of operating without human involvement beyond being turned on, but AAA’s survey suggests that improvements are still needed to build public trust and knowledge surrounding emerging vehicle technology.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

One issue is the misinformation around automated vehicles. AAA’s survey found that nearly one in 10 drivers believe they can purchase a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep. However, fully automated vehicles are not yet available for purchase, and there are no vehicles that allow someone to fully disengage from the task of driving.

Misleading or confusing names of vehicle systems on the market could be contributing to this perception, according to AAA. For example, 22% of those surveyed expect driver support systems, such as Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself without any supervision.

However, the survey also found that consumers are not opposed to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Six in 10 drivers expressed interest in having these systems in their next car purchase.

AAA emphasized the distinction between ADAS and self-driving cars, highlighting the former’s active driving assistance, which combines braking, accelerating, and steering through the combined use of adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. ADAS can only be turned on manually, when needed.

As vehicle technology continues to advance, it is essential to ensure that the public is informed and educated about the capabilities and limitations of emerging technologies to build trust and promote safe driving practices.

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