Advocates of autonomous vehicles commonly tout the potential benefits of these automobiles to save lives by preventing accidents or mitigating the impact of them should they occur. Not everyone remains convinced that self-driving vehicles are the answer, however.
In South Carolina, the number of lives lost in motor vehicle accidents climbed noticeably during the 2010s. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show 809 vehicular fatalities in the state in 2010. In 2018, the state recorded 1,037 people lost their lives in traffic crashes, up from 989 the prior year.
Technology advances and consumer trust
Automobile manufacturers and technology companies alike continue to push ahead with the development of autonomous vehicles. Many new research studies and polls, however, show that consumer trust lags behind these technology advances.
Almost 66% of respondents in a study conducted by the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education did not feel the benefits of a self-driving car could be greater than its disadvantages. In the same study, close to 75% of respondents indicated they did not believe these vehicles were anywhere close to being ready for mainstream use.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that approximately 50% of people consider an autonomous vehicle more dangerous than a vehicle driven by a human being. The World Economic Forum reported that two out of three people responding to the poll noted their unwillingness to purchase a self-driving vehicle.
A call for more education
Some experts believe that the lack of consumer trust reflects a lack of knowledge. As such, some groups believe consumers should receive more education about autonomous vehicles to build their trust.