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According to a recent study carried out by the AAA, only 63% of Americans are still afraid of driverless vehicles, compared with 78% a year ago.


The American Automobile Association (AAA) has just published its annual report, which shows increased global acceptance of self-driving automobile technology. As a result, only 63% of Americans are now reticent to it, compared with 78% in early 2017.

Male drivers and millennials are particularly favourable, with only half of them still worried by driverless vehicles. And in order for this tendency to continue, the AAA is recommending automotive manufacturers to make drivers more aware of this new form of mobility, according to a report on the Auto Connected Car News website.


Americans drivers more confident overall than in 2017


"Americans are beginning to feel more at ease with the idea of the driverless vehicle," says Greg Brannon, Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations for the AAA. "Compared with the previous year, there are 20 million more US drivers who say that they would be willing to travel in driverless vehicles."

As a driver however, the idea of sharing the road with autonomous vehicles remains a concerning one for most Americans, with only 13% of those surveyed saying that they were reassured, while 46% said that it made them anxious (37% were indifferent, 4% did not reply).


Males and millennials the least concerned


Only 52% of male drivers said that they were worried by the idea of travelling in a driverless vehicle, compared with 73% of women. Regarding the idea of sharing the road with a driverless vehicle, only 36% of men said that they were concerned, compared with 55% of women.

As far as the generations are concerned, millennials appear to be the most enthusiastic, with only 49% of those surveyed saying that travelling in a driverless vehicle worried them, compared with 73% in 2017. Baby-boomers meanwhile are more reticent overall, though to a lesser extent than the previous year (68% compared with 85% in 2017).


Developing the technology


Globally, almost half of American drivers (46%) continue to be concerned by the idea of driving among autonomous vehicles. The study also stated that 51% of drivers would like their next car to be fitted with autonomous technologies (compared with 59% a year ago), while 27% of drivers are against the idea, with 23% undecided.

Brannon underlined the need to focus on education and experience as the key to greater acceptance among the general public of new self-driving technologies. To this end, the AAA – which has already carried out independent tests on autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking and lane departure technologies – is looking at continuing experiments with these various systems more generally, but with greater levels of autonomy.


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