Would you buy an autonomous vehicle?

September 29, 2017 Jamie Leland

Would you buy a fully autonomous vehicle for your next car purchase? According to a survey on autonomous vehicles and their adoption in the U.S., 53% of people would – but their feelings remain mixed.

More than 70% of those surveyed said they love driving themselves – unsurprising given the U.S.'s car culture, its centrality to American life, and the high value Americans place on independence. Nevertheless, automation is slowly finding its way into American cars. More than 50% of people said their vehicles have automatic cruise control and 36% have cameras with rear or side views. And more than half are ready to relinquish more control.

Still, 67% of respondents said they would not feel safe in a self-driving car: women are especially leery, with 73% saying they are worried about their safety, despite a higher proportion of women saying they would purchase an autonomous car.

The brands on these consumers minds? Tesla is at the top with 16% of mentions, followed by Ford (7%), Google (6%), Chevrolet (6%) and Toyota (5%), but they are also acknowledging new players, with 30% saying technology firms are likely to lead the way – about the same percentage that named traditional car companies as leaders last year.

However, despite willingness to adopt this new technology for themselves, the respondents don't seem to share the vision of governments looking to smarten up their public transit. 59% of people say they don’t think automated public transportation will happen in the future and interest in using self-driving buses or taxis dropped to 33% compared to 42% last September.

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