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The Trend in Public Awareness Regarding Autonomous Vehicles


The Trend in Public Awareness Regarding Autonomous Vehicles


Would you trust a program? Of course yes, I trust programs all the time. I trust the power shut off adapter’s program in my laptop and smartphone that prevents my battery from exploding, I trust the programming of an elevator as I stand inside it, I always trust the programming of my drone that I primarily control with my phone.

But would you trust a program with your life? Well … that’s where it gets conflicting. Autonomous vehicles or even semi-autonomous vehicles that drive themselves, maneuvering through traffic and crowds, taking the right turns and prioritizing safety of people over everything are a relatively old but often a debatable topic to the general public. Their primary concern being the safety offered by these vehicles; the ratio of people who would prefer driving a vehicle themselves or have it driven by another person is much greater than the number of people who would rather a car do all the thinking and driving.

That, however, seems to be changing over time. As technologies like blockchain and Asimov’s law are introduced into programming and integrated with the programs running self-driving vehicles, people are much more convinced that an autonomous vehicle can provide a fairly significant level of security during operation. This was proven in the 2018 Cox Evolution of Mobility Study as the number of people willing to sit through a fully 100% autonomous cars was unexpectedly higher than the previous years. 84% people prefer to have at least manual system in an autonomous car. Although the change in proportion is almost trivial, it is still worth comparing with previous years.

Dramatic Shifts In Consumer Sentiment

“As awareness around the development of autonomous technology increases, we’re seeing some dramatic shifts in consumer sentiment,” as per  Karl Brauer, who happens to be the executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. “People now have a deeper understanding of the complexities involved when creating a self-driving car, and that has them reconsidering their comfort level when it comes to handing over control.”

Truth be told, the common man wants safety; and if just one phone of a certain model by a certain brand explodes, the consumer feels unsafe around the phone. The sentiment works the same way for cars. People wouldn’t prefer an autonomous car that has caused accidents before; which is why the fatal accident with an autonomous car in March 2018 has had a significant negative affects on the consumers’ sentiment. However, the news of this accident is often exaggerated while ignoring the variable factors leading to the accident which given, were not accounted for in the tested prototype.

“There is a major opportunity, and a real need, for automakers and mobility providers to help educate consumers and further guide autonomous vehicles in their development,” as per Joe George, the president of Cox Automotive Mobility Solutions Group. “Autonomous safety feature adoption will be critical in creating future autonomous technology advocates.”

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Cite this article as: Muhammad Usama, "The Trend in Public Awareness Regarding Autonomous Vehicles," in, August 26, 2018,

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