We’re likely still decades from flying cars in the style of the Jetsons and other futuristic worlds depicted in science fiction and a new survey finds we’re growing less enamored even with self-driving cars.
Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says a motor club poll found our trust is eroding in autonomous automobiles.
“Today, three-quarters or about 73% of the American drivers report they would be too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle,” White says. “That’s up significantly from 63% that was reported in late 2017.” There was another surprise in the survey. White says Millennials, who are usually the first to embrace new technology, are backing away from trusting autonomous vehicles.
“The percentage of Millennial drivers too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle jumped from 49% to 64% since late 2017,” White says, “representing the largest increase of any generation surveyed.” The report also found almost two-thirds (63%) of adults polled said they would actually feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle. It’s common for such public opinions to be swayed by current events, and a few recent events involving these vehicles have been far from positive.
White says, “Earlier this year, in March, there were two high-profile crashes that occurred, both resulting in fatalities, that involved autonomous vehicles.” One of those crashes involved an SUV owned by the ride-sharing service Uber that hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
Self-driving cars were being tested earlier this year in Iowa — on Interstate 380 between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. It’s a research project through the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator.