How do Americans really feel about driverless cars?

driverless car survey screen shot 2016 04 01 at 3 46 53 pm
The future of cars doesn’t seem to include us humans — not as drivers, anyway. With the rise of the autonomous automobile, our days behind the wheel may be numbered, which may come as a relief to those who already prefer being chauffeured around. But just how ready is America at large to give up its driving privileges?

Insurance website surveyed 2,000 Americans to answer precisely that question (and others), revealing some rather interesting insights into our driving habits today. Maybe it is a good thing that we’re slowly ceding our places behind the wheel after all.

About 8 in 10 respondents claimed to be excited about driverless car technology (though 5 out of those 8 still admitted to having certain reservations). That said, a greater proportion of individuals said they absolutely would buy a driverless car (41 percent) than wouldn’t (35 percent), and the remaining population remains undecided. Curiously, however, men are nearly 20 percent more open to purchase a driverless car than women.


This may just be a good thing, as men also appear to be far less empathetic drivers than women. In fact, almost 26 percent of male drivers said they’d rather strike a pedestrian than risk death themselves. When women were asked the same question, fewer than 1 in 5 agreed. When animals are involved, a similar trend appeared. Nearly 85 percent of men would hit an animal rather than risk their own lives, but only 73 percent of women agreed.

But what happens when the car is making all the decisions in these life or death situations? Who’s really to blame? According to survey results, nearly three-quarters of respondents say it’s the car manufacturer who’s at fault. 14 percent still blame those inside the car, and 13 percent fault the pedestrian (or victim, in this scenario).

04-AI-7 - new

Ultimately, the insurance firm notes, “people appear pretty undecided over the trustworthiness of driverless car technology.” And given that driverless cars look to be well on their way, manufacturers certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to convincing the general public to adopt this new technology.

Infographics from


5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.