Twenty-nine percent (29%) of American adults would feel safe riding in a self-driving car today. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that total includes 38% of men and 21% of women.
Forty-five percent (45%) of adults under 35 would feel safe, a confidence shared by just 13% of senior citizens (see crosstab results).
Still, just over half the nation’s adults (51%) believe that most cars on the road will be self-driving within 5-20 years. Eight percent (8%) think it will happen faster than that while 13% think that day will never come.
No matter how fast the technology and consumer acceptance progress, adoption of self-driving vehicles will be slowed by the fact that Americans generally hold on to their cars for more than ten years.
Among those who don’t yet feel safe in a self-driving car, 28% think it’s likely they’ll get comfortable within five to ten years. Once again, younger adults are far more likely than their elders to embrace the idea.
By way of disclosure, I took my first ride in a self-driving car: “The anticipation for me was a bit like a kid waiting for Christmas. But when I shared my enthusiasm with friends and colleagues, many thought I was crazy.” I remain an enthusiastic backer of the technology and expect my next car to be as autonomous as possible. It remains a mystery to me why so many people are reluctant to embrace this next step forward in automotive technology.
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The national survey of 1,127 Adults was conducted May 13-14, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).