Self-driving cars, once merely futuristic musings, are now the realities of a brave new world. A new study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) examines the general comfort drivers exhibit with fully and semi-autonomous driving features in new cars. They discovered that the average American driver is frightened and unlikely to ride in an autonomously driven vehicle, but this fear didn’t extend to younger drivers, who embraced the possibilities of the new technology.
The AAA study found that 82 percent of Baby Boomers were afraid of driverless vehicles, whereas Millennial drivers were 35 percent more likely to trust self-driven cars. More than 75 percent of younger drivers cited convenience as the motivation for their acceptance of the new technology.
Most newer car models have been outfitted with several semi-autonomous driving features like parking assist and autonomous braking. Individuals who are comfortable with these features, according to AAA, are more likely to accept additional autonomous driving features moving forward.
All of the major automotive manufacturers are working on driverless cars or semi-autonomous features for their new vehicles. Automotive marketing departments are seeking ways to shrink the wide gap in acceptance between young and older drivers, as the majority of newer vehicles are not being purchased by Millennial drivers. The addition of gateway features, as these semi-autonomous attributes are called, is a means to make older drivers more comfortable with giving up certain automotive control.
Safety Concerns Regarding Autonomous Vehicles
Baby Boomers experienced consternation regarding autonomous vehicles due to safety concerns, and only 20 percent felt that a driverless car could be operated safely. While it’s true that driverless cars are being fine tweaked, their existence and viability are being proven every day. Millennial drivers are far more comfortable with advanced technological concepts, which have been in existence for all of their life, whereas, older drivers are forced to gain confidence with these technologies that seem foreign and unnatural.
Driverless cars are going through rigorous testing in facilities across the country. There are many aspects of the system that prove a danger on roadways. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has reported 2,788 occurrences where autonomous vehicles required driver intervention during road tests. According to scientists at Stanford University, the most dangerous aspect of autonomous cars is disengagement. The times when the driver is forced to re-engage the vehicle after long periods of distraction have proven dangerous in simulations. Drivers would be required in an instant to rouse themselves from whatever activity they were enjoying while the car was self-operating and immediately begin driving the vehicle. Considering driverless cars only disengage in perilous situations where they are unable to determine the best course of action, scientists have discovered yet another area of autonomous driving that needs to be studied.
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The CDC states that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 5-34. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75 percent of motorists will be suffer a motor vehicle accident injury during their life, and new technology like driverless vehicles will bring with it new concerns and dangers.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, and you think it was due to driver negligence, then you should contact the personal injury attorneys with The Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. From our Long Island, New York offices, we can discuss the legal support and solutions available for your personal injury or motor vehicle-related lawsuit.