People Who Did Fancy The Idea Of A Driverless Car Ride Named The Experience As Their Primary Motivation.


Americans are freaking out about the possibility of driverless cars hitting the road. According to a recent Pew Research Center report , roughly two-thirds of Americans think robocars will dominate roads within the next half-century, yet fewer than half say they would choose to ride in one themselves. Of the people who wouldn’t take a driverless trip, the biggest fears centered around a general lack of trust in the technology—a reluctancy to cede control to a robot—and more specific safety concerns. People who did fancy the idea of a driverless car ride named the experience as their primary motivation. Safety again came in second—this time, due to beliefs that autonomous cars will be safer. The majority of Americans are pessimistic about how self-driving cars will impact society. Sixty-one percent think driverless cars would either increase or have no impact on traffic deaths, 81% expect them to displace professional drivers, and 72% don’t think they will reduce urban traffic. Americans agree on at least one benefit of driverless cars: 75% say they will give the elderly and disabled more independence. The problem: only 35% of Americans ages 50 and up would willingly take a driverless ride.

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The technology is also becoming more complicated to use. Cars used to have a few buttons and knobs. Some vehicles now have as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard that automatic car parking area barriers are multi-functional. There are touch screens, voice commands, writing pads, heads-up displays on windshields and mirrors and 3-D computer-generated images. "It's adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers' fingertips without often considering whether it's a good idea to put it at their fingertips," Strayer said. That complexity increases the overall amount of time drivers spend trying to use the systems. The auto industry says the new systems are better alternatives for drivers than mobile phones and navigation devices that were not designed to be used while driving. The vehicle-integrated systems "are designed to be used in the driving environment and require driver attention that is comparable to tuning the radio or adjusting climate controls, which have always been considered baseline acceptable behaviors while driving," said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. But Jake Nelson, AAA's director for traffic safety advocacy and research, said drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 model year cars and light trucks took their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel while using infotainment systems.

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