Auto Service World
News   March 29, 2023   by Adam Malik

Fears rise over automated vehicles

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A new survey has found more people are raising concerns over self-driving cars than before.

The American Automobile Association’s (AAA) annual automated vehicle survey found that people still have a high level of interest in partially automated vehicles. But when it comes to full automation, they’re increasingly apprehensive.

Last year, 55 per cent of respondents said they had fears — that number jumped to 68 per cent this year. The 13-point jump is the biggest increase since 2020 (though the methodology changed in the annual survey in 2021).

The group called for automakers to be diligent when creating an environment promoting increased usage of advanced vehicle technologies. It wants to see a more security, reliability and educational on the matter.

The results caught researchers off guard.

“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 have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.”

The group’s report noted that the results suggest that to build trust and knowledge around technology that is appearing in vehicles, improvements in approach are needed. There is confusion around self-driving vehicles that also needs to be dispelled, it added.

“AAA’s survey found that nearly one in 10 drivers believe they can buy a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep,” the report said. “Currently, there is no such vehicle available for purchase by the public that would allow someone to fully disengage from the task of driving.”

The names of vehicle systems could be a cause for confusion. “AAA found that 22 per cent of Americans expect driver support systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself without any supervision, indicating a gap in consumer understanding.”

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