Tennessee roads may not be full of completely autonomous vehicles today, but they likely include many vehicles that feature advanced technologies with some level of autonomous operation or driver assistance. For example, cruise control has been available on vehicles for years.

As the automotive and technology industries continue to move forward with developing fully self-driving cars, American consumers’ trust in these vehicles is not moving ahead with the same speed.

Researching opinions on autonomous vehicles

Multiple groups follow the development of self-driving vehicles and drivers’ readiness for these vehicles. One poll reported in the World Economic Forum found that nearly 66% of consumers said they would never buy a completely autonomous vehicle. Almost half of the respondents to the same poll indicated they believed self-driving cars to be more dangerous than those controlled by human drivers.

The Verge reported on a survey of 1,200 Americans that indicated that nearly 2 out of 3 people did not believe autonomous vehicles offered enough positive things to outweigh their disadvantages. The group that performed the research, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education, found in that same study that about half of respondents felt unwilling to ride in a cab or ride-hailing service vehicle that was fully autonomous. AAA and other groups have conducted polls that returned similar responses.

Changing minds

While the average consumer may resist accepting autonomous vehicles, some in the field believe that ramping up education efforts may change people’s minds. Many now call for greater public awareness to show drivers the true benefits and safety of fully self-driving vehicles in reducing accidents or mitigating the impact of accidents.