Study: Half of Vehicle Owners Open to Autonomous Cars

A new study conducted by AutoPacific Inc. finds that half of vehicle owners categorize self-driving vehicles as a "good idea" and one in four say they are interested in owning one.

Those interested in the technology cite comfort, relaxation and productivity as potential benefits of autonomous vehicles. Not surprisingly, people who already own vehicles with advanced driver assist systems such as forward collision intervention and active lane-keeping assist are more open to the idea of having a fully autonomous vehicle.

One in five respondents express interest in using autonomous ride-sharing services. They also note that such on-demand services would increase the mobility of people who otherwise would have limited options due to their age, disability or other impairment.

Among the main concerns of respondents not in favor of self-driving vehicles are lack of control and unproven reliability. The potential for vehicle hacking also was cause for worry.

More than two-thirds of those against fully autonomous vehicles would like to see more information about the technology’s real-world performance—industry reviews, safety data and word-of-mouth from friends and family—and nearly two in five people say their opinion likely would improve based on positive feedback.

Noting that many of the detractors of fully autonomous vehicles were interested in automated parking and other ADAS features, AutoPacific advocates a continued incremental roll-out of autonomous systems. This will help boost consumer confidence and spur more interest in self-driving cars, the authors note.