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U.S. consumers may not be ready for autonomous cars

While U.S. consumers might be interested in some individual features, they may not be as interested in fully autonomous cars.

Technology giants and vehicle manufacturers alike are all but racing to get fully self-driving cars on American roads. Around Maryland and in other states, however, consumers must assess their level of readiness to adopt or trust these vehicles. In the last year, it seems that consumer trust of autonomous vehicles has actually gone down among many groups.

Do people think autonomous cars are safe enough?

The results of a Deloitte survey featured in The Driver shared the views on autonomous vehicles of not only drivers in the United States but in other countries as well. Out of more than 22,000 people surveyed, the safety of these cars was questioned or not trusted by nearly three-quarters of the respondents.

Companies developing self-driving vehicles should not panic, however. Almost 70 percent of people also said that if the manufacturers could provide evidence that the vehicles were safe, drivers would trust that and be more willing to ride in these vehicles.

Do consumers care who manufactures these vehicles?

Consumer brand loyalty is important across many segments and industries and that holds true when it comes to autonomous vehicles as well. Over half of survey respondents indicated that their trust of a self-driving car might increase if it was manufactured by a brand they knew and trusted.

When it comes to preference for certain brands, that may not be known but it appears that there is much greater trust in and support for autonomous vehicles built by traditional car makers as opposed to technology companies. Out of those polled, 47 percent said they would rather see an autonomous car manufactured by a vehicle manufacturer. Only 20 percent said they would rather see these cars manufactured by businesses whose core competency and area of focus was technology.

Are people wary of all self-driving features?

Interestingly while many consumers are hesitant about fully autonomous vehicles, other research shows growing support for specific autonomous features in human-driven vehicles. In particular, those features that directly relate to improved safety were of interest to drivers.

Features like automatically adjusting headlights, rearview mirror cameras or even emergency steering and braking systems rated high in driver interest in the 2017 J.D. Power and Associated Tech Choice Study. People were even interested enough in these features to say they would be willing to pay more money for cars that came with these features.

How can I protect myself?

It may not be possible for Maryland residents to be fully safe from an accident even if self-driving cars take the road. For this reason, being prepared to talk to an attorney after a crash is important. Regardless of the type of vehicles involved, injured persons always deserve compensation.

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