Autonomous Vehicle Technology Raises ConcernsMarch 28, 2018
According to a survey of 1,000 licensed drivers in China, Germany, and the United States, not all motorists share an enthusiasm for self-driving vehicles. Motorists are particularly concerned that hackers will be able to access the vehicle’s computer and steal data. This widespread fear of cybercrime could have a negative impact on the overall acceptance of autonomous vehicles down the road.
Of the 1,000 licensed drivers surveyed, 34 percent of the drivers polled in the United States believe that self-driving cars will improve safety on the roads. However, as the level of automation increases, their trust in the technology decreases. For example, while a mere 15 percent of respondents from the U.S. said that they feared a decrease in road safety as a result of partial automation, close to half of those same respondents believed that there would be a deterioration of road safety due to completely driverless cars.
Fear of Cybercrime
Respondents from the United States were particularly fearful of data theft in autonomous cars. In fact, of the respondents surveyed, 67 percent of motorists in the United States expressed a fear of cybercrime in connection with autonomous vehicles. Not surprisingly, cyber-protection was important to over 60 percent of the U.S. respondents, although only 41 percent believed that manufacturers would be able to develop an autonomous vehicle that would be fully protected against cyber criminals or hackers.
According to the survey, the majority of motorists know that vehicle data, including mileage, speed, style of driving, and seat adjustments, is transmitted to the manufacturers. However, just over half of U.S. respondents said that they are not well-informed about what the data is used for, who has access to it, and how well the data is protected. Only 42 percent of those drivers said they were willing to let their data be used for new services.
For the U.S. respondents, the top three priorities for autonomous vehicles included:
- Permanent option for the driver to take control of the vehicle (47 percent)
- Proof of functional safety through tests (45 percent)
- Protection against unauthorized access (43 percent)
The survey brings attention to certain motorist perceptions that could have a negative impact on the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles. More information needs to be provided to consumers, in order to communicate the benefits of the technology more clearly and effectively, and eliminate obstacles.
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