Americans believe they can snooze while they cruise

An annual survey on autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles has found that Americans’ fear of these vehicles has risen by 13%.

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In 2022, 55% of participants in the survey said they were wary of autonomous vehicles, but according to the just-released edition of the survey, 68% of the roughly 1000 people interviewed now say they are apprehensive of the technology. This is the biggest jump since 2020.

The results should be a wake-up call for automakers and autonomous vehicle companies like Waymo and Cruise.

“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years," said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research for AAA. "Although with the number of high-profile crashes that has occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn't entirely surprising."

Another misconception that the survey revealed is that one in ten Americans were under the impression that they could take a nap while the vehicle drives itself. This is further exacerbated by the names automakers give the self-driving systems such as Tesla’s “Autopilot” and “Full self-driving”.

Good news was that six out of ten Americans said they would “definitely” or “probably” want these systems in their next vehicle purchase.

The survey comprised of 1,140 interviews with US adults aged 18 and over, and 949 individuals qualified for the study, which was done via phone from January 13 to 17, 2023. The study's margin of error was 4.3% at a 95% confidence level.

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