DETROIT (WWJ) – A new survey says more Americans are willing to ride in self-driving cars.

Research from AAA Michigan shows 63 percent of motorists are afraid to ride in a self-driving car, but the that’s better than the 78-percent who were leery a year ago.

The survey says millennials and male drivers are most willing to buy a semi-autonomous vehicle. The survey also shows only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle.

“Most drivers still enjoy the experience of getting behind the wheel of their own vehicle,” Gary Bubar, AAA Public Affairs and Traffic Safety Specialist, said in a statement. “Therefore, the safety features in a semi-autonomous vehicle might be more appealing to a driver who is not quite ready to give up the wheel.”

While riding in self-driving vehicle is a futuristic concept for most, testing of these vehicles in the United States means that sharing the road with an automated vehicle is an increasing near-term possibility. In this situation, drivers remain wary of self-driving vehicles. In AAA’s survey, only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while nearly half (46 percent) would actually feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37 percent) or unsure (4 percent).

Additional survey results include:

  • Women (73 percent) are more likely than men (52 percent) to be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55 percent versus 36 percent).
  • Millennials are the most trusting of self-driving vehicles, with only 49 percent (down from 73 percent) reporting that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. While the majority of baby boomers (68 percent) still report being afraid to ride in a self-driving car, this generation is significantly more comfortable with the idea than they were a year ago, when 85 percent reported being afraid.
  • 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.

AAA’s survey also offered insights as to why some motorists are reluctant to purchase advanced vehicle technology. Most trust their driving skills more than the technology (73 percent) — despite the fact that research shows more than 90 percent of crashes involve human error. Men in particular, are confident in their driving abilities with 8 in 10 considering their driving skills better than average.

 

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