Mercedes driverless car
Every technological leap requires some vision. Some more than others. In the case of self-driving cars, it seems apparent that at some point in the future, every car will be autonomous. The question is – how do we transition from the “dumb” cars of today to the “smart” ones of tomorrow?
This chart below may suggest to some that the US isn’t ready yet for self-driving vehicles. In reality however everyone should want one because they are going to be safer than the alternative. After all, there are more than 30,000 car fatalities in the US alone each year.
Chart courtesy of BI Intelligence
The challenge we can expect however is that in some cases there will be autonomous vehicle accidents.
We can expect the media to focus a great deal on these few accidents while not making a fair comparison to overall deaths caused by all vehicles. This disproportionate press will slow adoption. Thankfully, it won’t stop it.
One challenge we still need to deal with is who is at fault in such cases. The driver? the car company? The wireless carrier?
The good news is, the younger you go, the better in terms of openness to driving such a vehicle.
Almost 60 percent of Millennials say they would buy a driverless car, with only 22 percent saying they’d never consider it. The GenXers and Baby Boomers were in near-lockstep at 49 and 45 percent, respectively, willing to get behind the wheel once prices become reasonable and reliability is shown. The only majority group to be unwilling to consider one was the mature group, with half rejecting the notion out of hand. On average, however half of all Americans are already saying they’d look at going driverless.
What this shows is over time, adoption will increase as more older drivers give way to younger generations.