Survey Finds U.S. Drivers Ready for Autonomous Cars

July 29, 2014

Most Americans are comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars, according to a new survey from, a car insurance comparison-shopping website.

More than three-quarters of 2,000 licensed drivers surveyed said they would be very likely to buy or at least consider buying a car with autonomous capabilities. When the possibility of much cheaper car insurance as a result of improved safety was introduced, consideration rose to 86 percent.

Only 24.5 percent said they would never consider an autonomous car – and even that figure dropped to 13.7 percent if they could get cheaper car insurance.

Nearly a third of respondents – 31.7 percent — said they would not continue to drive once an autonomous car was available instead.

Yet the trust in technology is not solid, the survey found. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school, and 61 percent said they believe a computer is incapable of the same decision-making behind the wheel that a human is.

Given a choice between hitting a pedestrian and hitting another vehicle head-on, for example, 79 percent of drivers said they would want their autonomous car programmed to hit the other vehicle.

Drivers agree. Seventy-three percent said they don’t think the cars of model year 2040 will operate in ways familiar to the drivers of 2014.


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