Drivers still cautious towards autonomous cars image

An annual survey from the University Michigan Transportation Research Institute has released results that show the public is yet not in love with the idea of self-driving cars as much as the media and all tech passionate people out there.

In terms of choice, 46% of the people taking part in the study opted for no self-driving vehicles, 39% opted for partial self-driving and only 16% went for the full-on autonomous cars. This is the second study conducted by researchers Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak in which 618 licensed drivers with the age of 18 or older took part in. Back in 2014, a similar study revealed the same hesitations among consumers with regards to complete self-driving cars.

“Overall public opinion has been remarkably consistent over the two years that this survey has been conducted despite increased media coverage of self-driving vehicles. This just lays out one of the hurdles that needs to be overcome for people to accept this technology. People still want to take control, and they’re afraid of truly giving it up,” Schoettle stated.

Compared to last year, the number of respondents who choose no-self driving cars went up from 44% to 46%, while those who chose semi-autonomous vehicles went down from 40.6% to 38.7%. Respondents with ages between 30 and 44 were the most likely to opt for a complete autonomous car (22.2%), followed by those with ages between 18 and 29 (18.8%). An increase also took place to the “very concerned” answer regarding riding in such a vehicle, from 35.6% in 2015 to 37.2% in this current study.

Schoettle explained that he does not expect Apple, Google or Uber to stop their attempts to produce safe autonomous cars, but that this kind of survey proves helpful in terms of what features people are interested in or not.