For years now, we've heard that self-driving cars are the next big wave of transportation technology, despite the fact that the public doesn't seem to want them. It appears that hasn't changed. The latest AAA survey on self-driving cars finds only 12% of respondents would feel safe riding in an autonomous vehicle. "Right now, we see about one in ten drivers say they would trust a vehicle to drive itself while they are in it, and another 28 percent are kind of unsure of how they feel about it," says Greg Brannon, AAA Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.
The survey also uncovered other issues with autonomous vehicles, like who would be at fault in the event of an accident. "For a hundred years now, we've been pretty clear that the person behind the wheel is the one responsible for the crash, and now with self-driving cars that is something that's definitely on the table," says Brannon. "Almost 60 percent of Americans would like more information about who is legally responsible for a crash, and they're interested in finding out more about laws to ensure that (driverless) cars being deployed are actually safe for the roadway."
For now, self-driving cars are only being rolled out in limited programs for things like grocery deliveries. Beyond that, they face a long road to public acceptance. "We're going to have to answer questions from Americans about who's responsible in case of a crash, and we're going to have to make sure that (the vehicles) are safe from being hacked," says Brannon.