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Survey: More than 3 in 4 Americans Feel Less Safe in Self-Driving Cars

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September 14, 2022

A new survey from insurance technology company Policygenius found widespread apprehension about self-driving cars, despite an increase in the use of the technology.

The survey found a majority of Americans (76%) said they would feel less safe driving or riding in cars with self-driving features. Similarly, 73% of those surveyed said they would feel less safe knowing others on the road are traveling in cars with self-driving features.

Americans said they are also skeptical about the potential of this technology, with one third (33%) saying that even a car with “full self-driving capability” would require constant attention. Nearly 80% of people say they would not pay more to own a car with self-driving features.

“Whether because of road rage, reckless driving, or car accidents, it’s understandable that many people are wary of taking their eyes off the road and relying on a self-driving car,” said Rachael Brennan, a licensed property and casualty insurance expert at Policygenius. “As advances in autonomous vehicle technology continue, auto companies and insurance companies will need to resolve a number of challenges, from helping people feel safe on the road to navigating new insurance implications, like who is at fault in an autonomous vehicle incident.”

Other findings from the Policygenius 2022 Self-Driving Cars Survey include:

  • Americans are split on how these features should affect your wallet. 38% of Americans said the extra safety features that come with a self-driving car should earn an insurance discount, but 62% think insurance for cars with self-driving features should cost more than cars without them.
  • Understanding of the market varies. 76% of Americans understand that a true “self-driving car” doesn’t exist on the market, but almost a quarter of people (24%) believe that drivers can currently buy a car designed to let them take their eyes off the road while driving.
  • Who’s to blame? Americans are divided evenly on who should be held responsible if a car crashes while self-driving features are in control — the driver or the car manufacturer.

Policygenius said it commissioned Google Surveys to poll a nationally representative sample of 1,500 adults aged 18 and older. The average margin of error for responses is +/- 6.1%. 

Additional data from the full report can be found here.


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