Researchers in Utah have found that there are still many people uninformed about driverless cars, and that those who know the least are the most negative about them.
Academics at the Center for the Prevention of Distracted Driving at the University of Utah investigated consumers’ beliefs and confidence about fully automated vehicles and found the opinions to be “mixed”.
They say the most negative views were held by consumers who had the least knowledge of self-driving cars with low trust in technology also associated with more negative views.
They say that, although consumers were generally confident in their views of self-driving cars, many were uninformed about them and consumers’ confidence in their beliefs was “more strongly correlated with perceived knowledge and general confidence than real expertise”. Therefore, they add, consumers’ confidence in their opinions about fully automated vehicles appears to be driven by “cognitions that are largely superfluous”.
“The views that are currently being formed of fully automated vehicles and the confidence with which these views are held are important because they will affect consumers’ willingness to adopt these vehicles,” they say. “Consumer opinions will also determine the support for the legal and physical infrastructure needed to put the technology on our roads.”