What’s Happening: AAA’s annual survey on automated vehicle technology shows that while interest in partially-automated vehicle technology remains high, attitudes toward fully self-driving vehicles have become increasingly apprehensive. The survey found that 68% of drivers are afraid of fully self-driving vehicles, a 13% increase from the previous year’s survey.
Why It Matters: The results of AAA’s survey suggest that there is a need to improve public trust and knowledge surrounding emerging vehicle technology. The survey also found that confusion exists around automated vehicles, with nearly one in ten drivers believing they can buy a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep. The naming of vehicle systems available to consumers today could also be contributing to this confusion.
- AAA believes that automakers need to be diligent in creating an environment that promotes the use of more advanced vehicle technologies in a secure, reliable, and educational manner.
- Six in ten U.S. drivers would “definitely” or “probably” want advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in their next car purchase.
- AAA’s survey found that 22% of Americans expect driver support systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself without any supervision.
- Active driving assistance (ADA) is also considered ADAS, but it differs in functionality from other systems. ADA actively assists the driver, whereas other ADAS only turn on when needed.
- AAA seeks to partner with automakers to create greater consistency across the industry in naming and describing vehicle systems.
Bottom Line: The results of AAA’s annual survey suggest that improvements are still needed to build public trust and knowledge surrounding emerging vehicle technology, and to dispel confusion around automated vehicles. Automakers must be diligent in creating an environment that promotes the use of more advanced vehicle technologies in a secure, reliable, and educational manner. Greater consistency in naming and describing vehicle systems can also help consumers understand the type of technology their vehicle has and how to use it, ultimately building trust in the vehicles of the future.