Autos

Americans Turn Their Backs on Self-Driving Cars

Douglas A. McIntyre

Americans have little interest in self-driving cars. The information is a blow to a major transformation of the automobile industry. Manufacturers expect that autonomous vehicles, along with electric cars, are the wave of the future. Most have major programs to prepare for a future in which millions of these vehicles will be sold each year.

Partners for Automated Vehicle Education conducted a survey of 1,200 people taken between February 27 and March 5.

Among the primary findings:

  • Nearly three in four Americans say AV technology is “not ready for primetime.”
  • 48% of Americans say they “would never get in a taxi or ride-share vehicle that was being driven autonomously.”
  • 58% think safe AVs will be available in ten years, and 20% believe they will never be safe.
  • Only 34% of Americans think “the advantages of AVs outweigh any potential disadvantages.”
  • Only 18% of Americans agree with the statement “if there was a website to get on a waiting list for the first AV, I’d put my name down.”

Self-driving cars have drawn hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. Some of this is from manufacturers like Tesla and General Motors. Other investments have come from tech companies like Alphabet’s Waymo.

It turns out that many of these investments will not bear fruit for a very long time.