Consumer trust of autonomous vehicles

Two studies released in the past few months show that American consumers may not yet be willing or ready to adopt autonomous vehicles.

California has long been considered the land of the car in the United States. The thought of giving up driving could be totally foreign to most Californians but what if that meant giving up control of driving and handing it over to a computer?

Autonomous vehicles have been in development for some time now and generally as new technology advances, consumer trust advances along with it. Two new studies show that with self-driving cars, however, this is not the case.

How many Americans would ride in an autonomous vehicle?

According to The Drive, 2017 Deloitte study showed that just over half - 54 percent - of Americans said they would feel safe riding in a self-driving car if it was manufactured by a company and a brand they knew and trusted. No details about what those brand preferences may be were given.

Another 68 percent of respondents said that if research could prove the safety of autonomous vehicles, they would trust them or feel they were safe. At the current time, however, a whopping 74 percent of people in the United States are reported to believe these vehicles are not safe.

How do people in other countries feel?

The Deloitte study indicated that people in India, Germany and China had higher levels of trust for self-driving cars than do people in the U.S. Consumers in those three countries also trust autonomous vehicles more than do consumers in Japan.

Does consumer trust in the U.S. vary by generation?

The J.D. Power U.S. Tech Choice Study takes a look at Americans' views on technology. Edmunds explains that an interesting shift took place between the 2016 and 2017 studies. With the exception of one generational group, Americans' trust of autonomous cars dropped in that year.

The one generation for which that did not happen was the Generation Y era which represents people born between 1977 and 1994. It is not only older generations that are wary of the technology as 11 percent more of those born between 1995 and 2004 also reported a decline in trust saying they would definitely not trust autonomous cars.

What might contribute to consumer concerns?

Highly publicized accidents involving autonomous vehicles in 2016 may well be contributing to the drop in drivers' trust. The J.D. Power study did indicate that most people feel favorably about individual technologies that help drivers like rearview cameras, adaptive headlights and lane change alert.

What should Californians do after an accident?

Whether or not an accident involves a self-driving vehicle or human-driven vehicles, people in California should always contact an attorney for help. A lawyer may be able to guide people through working with insurance companies to seek appropriate compensation.