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Consumer trust of autonomous vehicle technology

On behalf of Harry Dorian

Consumer views on autonomous car technology are more favorable to individual features than to entire vehicles.

Many people in Pennsylvania have been hearing about the emergence of self-driving cars for a while now. Even though fully autonomous cars have yet to hit the road in mass numbers, more and more new vehicles are being produced with individual features that leverage autonomous driving technology.

Improved safety is the primary driver of the use of this technology and the inclusion of these features in vehicles. A 2017 study by J.D. Power and Associates called the U.S. Tech Choice Study showed that in general, American consumers are growing in their willingness to adopt these individual features.

What types of technology are people most willing to adopt?

According to the Detroit News, those features that most directly address safety and the prevention of accidents top the list of what consumers are interested in and even willing to pay for. Some examples of these features include automatically adjusting headlights and lane-change assistance. Cameras embedded in rear view mirrors and even in side mirrors as well as emergency steering and braking systems are all said to be of interest to car buyers.

Are people willing to accept fully autonomous cars?

While trust for and interest in specific safety features has increased, consumer trust for fully self-driving cars has waned. Between 2017 and 2016, such trust dropped in every single age group with one exception. For people identified as being part of the Generation Y group, their trust improved by only one percentage point.

Are younger drivers more trustworthy of self-driving cars?

Levels of distrust for autonomous cars have been found to increase as drivers’ ages increase according to a 2017 J.D. Power and Associates study. For people born between 1995 and 2004, 22 percent are said to be wary of autonomous vehicles. Distrust was 18 percent for drivers born between 1977 and 1994 and then spiked to 34 percent for people born between 1965 and 1976. The baby boomers recorded a 44 percent level of distrust. Pre-boomers recorded a distrust level of 49 percent.

Do consumers trust some companies more than others?

As explained by The Driver, a brand name may go a long way toward helping consumers trust a self-driving car. In one study, more than half of respondents indicated that they would feel comfortable riding in a self-driving car if it was developed and manufactured by a brand they knew and trusted. Interestingly it was not technology companies, but vehicle manufacturers that most consumers trusted for this more than others.

How can I get help if an accident occurs?

Whether a vehicle has driver-assistance features or not, people involved in an accident should always contact a lawyer for help. This gives Pennsylvania residents access to current information and assistance when dealing with insurance companies.