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Only 12 Percent of Americans Feel Safe in Autonomous Cars

A survey found that most Americans worry about safety, legality and hacking when it comes to self-driving cars. But 72 percent said they would feel safer if they could take control of the car in case of an emergency.

(TNS) — Only 12 percent of drivers in America would feel safe riding in a self driving car and 28 percent don’t know how they feel about the technology, according to a new AAA survey released Thursday.

“Knowing how people truly feel about self-driving cars will help the industry to identify the steps needed to move consumers towards greater acceptance,” John Paul, AAA Northeast Senior Manager of Traffic Safety said in a statement.

According to AAA, the majority of the consumers who took the survey indicated that their doubts about self-driving cars stem from a lack of information available on the subject and would like to see more coverage about the technology in the news.

Specifically, AAA said that 57 percent of Americans want to have a clearer understanding of who’s legally responsible if a self-driving car crashes, 51 percent want to know what laws would regulate the safety of the cars and 49 percent want to know how vulnerable they will be to hackers.

“Consumers have made it clear what it will take to overcome their doubts – consistent and transparent information,” Paul said. “When people have the opportunity to take back control or even build their understanding of how this technology works, they are much more likely to embrace it.”

Mark Schieldrop, a spokesman for AAA Northeast, said that the survey was conducted online and 1,300 adults across the country participated. The margin of error was 4 percent at a 90 percent confidence level, he said.

Schieldrop said the data indicated that 72 percent of Americans said they would trust self-driving cars more if they could take over control should something go wrong and nearly half would feel safer if they knew the car had passed rigorous testing and inspections.

Additionally, the data indicated that 42 percent would like to see or experience a demonstration before they got into a self-driving car.

AAA officials said that while a fully-automated fleet of self-driving cars is still decades away, they conducted the study to “help inform and encourage the industry, media and policymakers to find ways to help consumers connect better with advanced vehicle technology.”

©2020 the Boston Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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