It appears that people are finally warming up to the idea of self-driving cars.
One of the biggest obstacles that automotive manufacturers have faced with self-driving cars has been low interest from the public. Buyers have consistently said that they don’t quite trust the technology. Additionally, they don’t feel comfortable turning control of their vehicle over to a machine. However, that sentiment finally appears to be changing.
A new survey conducted by Adobe Analytics found that 40% of adult Americans drivers are now considering buying self-driving cars in the future. The survey of 1,040 American adults over the age of 18 revealed that drivers are increasingly ready for more self-driving cars on the road. Many of them have plans to make them an extension of their homes and offices. That includes taking time to eat, chat on their phone, or catch up on work while the car drives itself.
Industry analysts say that it will be years before vehicles can handle all aspects of driving with no human intervention. That hasn’t stopped global carmakers and technology companies from spending billions of dollars on autonomous vehicle development.
Major Players Involved
Hyundai, GM, Uber, Tesla, and Apple have each unveiled plans to invest in autonomous vehicles and other related systems. The race for dominance is well under way. Alphabet’s Waymo (part of Google) and GM Cruise (backed by SoftBank Group’s $100 billion Vision Fund) have already recorded more than 25,000 kilometers of hands-free driving, according to the California state government.
Ridesharing company Lyft has also said it will invest heavily in self-driving cars. German automaker BMW and Chinese online gaming giant Tencent Holdings have also teamed up to launch an autonomous driving computing center in China.
Drivers increasingly seem ready for the inevitable self-driving car revolution. The report also noted many drivers already factor whether a car has self-driving features into their buying decisions. The interest in connected cars is higher ever before. Moreover, support for these green and “smart” vehicles has grown by over 35% in the last year.
Among demographic groups, millennials are the most accepting of autonomous vehicles. Many millennial drivers want to enjoy more leisurely activities like their favorite podcast or catching up on their favorite TV show while their cars drive themselves, the survey found.