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How Much Do You Trust a Self-Driving Car?

One of the hottest topics in the automotive domain at present is without a doubt the advent of autonomous or self-driving cars. They and the technologies surrounding them are the star attractions at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently taking place in Las Vegas.

Certainly the potential they harbour is enormous, but then so are the concerns regarding safety issues. Now, a new study by Deloitte reveals that ongoing technological advances, backed by a sustained industry effort at educating the public, are easing these concerns in the minds of many people.

Last year a majority of respondents said they felt that self-driving cars were not safe; the new study shows that only a minority now thinks so. This change in public opinion manifests itself in North America but also in China as well as in European countries like France and Germany.

"Overall acceptance of autonomous technology has grown rapidly in just a short time. However, driverless cars are still in an experimental stage, and the industry is at the front-end of a long capital investment cycle required to bring autonomous vehicle technology to the mainstream market.”
- Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP

Close to three-quarters of respondents in the Deloitte study would be more likely to get into a driverless car that has already been tested and proven safe. Two-thirds, meanwhile, would agree to take that leap if the vehicle was made by a manufacturer they trust. In each case, the percentage of affirmative answers rose in comparison with the previous study carried out in early 2017.

Unsurprisingly, the study also reveals that young people (including Generation Y and Millennials) are more favourable to autonomous vehicles than older age groups. Another interesting result: just over half of respondents in the survey said they were more apt to trust governments setting regulations and safety standards regarding self-driving cars than the auto manufacturers themselves.

And how about you? Would you feel at ease in a self-driving car?