Most drivers still unsure about the benefits of self-driving

Opinions on self-driving cars appear to be moving slowly towards acceptance, though the vast majority in Klashwerks ‘2017 State of Driving survey’ either don’t know enough or won’t be purchasing an autonomous vehicle in the near future.

44 percent of respondents said they needed more information before making a decision on self-driving, 19 percent said they are cool but wouldn’t purchase one, 17 percent said they’re terrifying, and 12.5 percent think they are all hype.

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Only five percent of respondents said they would be looking to purchase one as soon as they are available, although it doesn’t look like ownership will be an option from some providers. An additional two percent said they have never heard of self-driving cars.

38 percent said they would drive in a self-driving car, while 24 percent said they would not and 37 percent said they don’t know. In a follow-up question, 84 percent said it would be ‘depressing’ to live in a car, one of the possible outcomes of an autonomous vehicle that can charge for free on electricity.

That is not as disappointing as other general car surveys. Most surveys show ambivalence towards cars that can control themselves, despite drivers having no qualms with better safety features in their cars and more opportunities to multitask.

Earlier in the survey, 50 percent of drivers admitted to being on the phone while driving. More than 35 percent were tempted to make/eat food or check emails and texts. Drivers seem unaware of how self-driving cars would allow them to do much more inside the car, 33 percent said they were content with sitting in silence and reflecting.

Self-driving is still a very young technology, not available or even noticeable in most parts of the world. The deployment of thousands of self-driving cars by General Motors next year and Google’s rumored self-driving taxi service might bring more consumers into the fold.

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