Over 1000 Australians were surveyed and the results have revealed that over half of Australians think having autonomous cars on public roads is a dangerous idea. With so much still unknown about how these vehicles will work and interact with nonautonomous vehicles on the road, it’s not hard to see where the reluctance is coming from.
57.2% of those surveyed responded that they thought autonomous cars were a dangerous idea. 49.9% of men and 64.1% of women revealed they don’t like the idea of the self-driving cars operating in our transport systems. If implemented, autonomous vehicles won’t be limited to just cars, but also shuttles, trucks and buses. So relying on self-driving technology for all our grounded transporting needs is understandably an intimidating prospect for some and a big change for many different industries.
But the research undertaken by autonomous vehicle companies estimates that they can reduce the number of road fatalities that occur around the world by over one million deaths a year through autonomous vehicle technology.1 With an estimate of around 90% of all road accidents being attributed to human error, autonomous driving would see the end of road deaths that occur as a result of speeding, drink and distracted driving.
Still, only 47.2% of Australians said that they would ride in an autonomous vehicle. Women were more inclined to think autonomous cars posed a serious risk, with only 38.6% of women saying they would ride in one. Men on the other hand, were a little more daring, with 56.4% of male respondents saying they would at least ride in an autonomous vehicle. But that is still over half of the population demonstrating a marked aversion to the concept of self-driving cars.
The numbers decreased again when asked if they would actually purchase an autonomous vehicle. Apple and Google are among the leaders paving the way with developing these self-driving cars, both with advanced trials in progress across the globe. But only 28.3% of Australians said that they would buy an autonomous car from Apple or Google if they became available on the market.
Men were only slightly more likely than women to buy an autonomous car from Apple or Google, with 34.2% of men and only 22.8% of women saying they would purchase a self-driving vehicle from the technology giants. With less than a third of the population actually willing to invest their money in self-driving technology, it’s not hard to see why Australia is ranking so low in the readiness index.