Survey: More Americans open to riding in self-driving cars

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new study from AAA says more Americans are willing to ride in autonomous vehicles.

According to an annual survey, 63 percent of Americans are afraid to ride in them. Early last year, that number was 78 percent.

“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon said. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.”

Males and millennials trust autonomous technology the most, according to the study. Almost half of those surveyed said they would be afraid to ride in a car that drives itself. The survey also said women were more likely than men to be afraid of riding in an autonomous vehicle.

73 percent of drivers in the U.S. consider themselves better than average with their driving abilities.

“AAA found that American drivers are very confident in their driving abilities, which may explain some hesitation to give up full control to a self-driving vehicle,” Brannon said. “Education, exposure and experience will likely help ease consumer fears as we steer toward a more automated future.”

The study says 13 percent of U.S. drivers would feel safer sharing the road with a car that drives itself, but nearly half would not feel as safe. 37 percent would feel indifferent, the study says, and four percent said they are unsure.

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