Interest in autonomous driving is on the rise, according to a new survey by CarInsurance.com, which sees one in five drivers interested in systems that could help driving a vehicle.
There are also many potential buyers saying they would never again take the wheel again if a self-driving, or autonomous, car was out. While 20% of the 2,000 licensed drivers surveyed said they would give up the driving duty, interest in autonomous vehicles soared when the idea of reduced insurance rates was introduced into the equation.
“Our survey shows cheaper insurance will greatly influence consumer acceptance,” said CarInsurance.com managing editor Des Toups.
Insurance and liability are considered key issues to the development of autonomous technology, especially in the litigious US. Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer – who heads that maker’s autonomous vehicle program – says that without safeguards to prevent a never ending list of lawsuits, the Japanese maker might unveil its first self-driving vehicle in “other markets.”
“Some of the liability of operating a car will doubtless be assumed by the manufacturer,” said CarInsurance.com editor Toups. “But a lot of the decrease in rates could come simply because there would be many fewer accidents.”
More than a third of those surveyed said an 80% discount on car insurance prices would make the idea of buying an autonomous vehicle “very likely,” and 90% of drivers said they would at least consider the idea.