Survey: 49% Prefer Cars That Could Drive Themselves

Autonomous Chevy TahoeI’m sure that to most auto enthusiasts, the dawn of driverless car technology is as unwanted as a new three-cylinder Geo Metro, but it may surprise you to learn that not all drivers agree.

In fact, 49% of people would be comfortable “driving” a driverless car, according to a survey conducted by Accenture, a consulting firm.

The study primarily focused on users’ frustrations of the performance and complexity of certain electronic devices, such as mobile phones, TVs and computers. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents also said they would like more in-car sensors — such as lane departure warning systems or parking sonars — if they would reduce car insurance premiums.

Autonomous technology is progressing at a judicious pace. It was only a few years ago when clumsy, experimental vehicles had trouble navigating simple, cordoned-off courses. Fast-forward to the present, when Google has managed to drive a robotic Toyota Prius 140,000 miles through heavily trafficked areas in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Some consumers already drive vehicles with lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, crash avoidance and self-parking features, all of which can nearly mimic the whole kit and caboodle of autonomous driving.

Autonomous driving could make personal transport safer, quicker and less wasteful. More than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization. Google believes the technology could also drastically reduce traffic jams, cut wasted fuel consumption and perhaps reinvent the relationship between the driver and car.

49% of People Want Autonomous Cars (Translogic)

By Colin Bird | February 24, 2011 | Comments (18)

Comments 

Rockaby

If we did go to autonomous driving, I wonder if the states and federal government would allow higher speed limits so we could get places quicker...hmm.

Amuro Ray

There's no need to (under 100% autonomous driving).

Traffic jam is a product of different drivers driving at different speed, as well as interruptions like lane changing just 'cos u feel like it (and crashes that occur as a result).

It's kinda like a train/subway system ideally.

An increase in speed will allow you only a few minutes of approaching ur destination sooner, at a great sacrifice of fuel.

Rockaby

Fuel economy would go down, yes.

But I'm talking about adding 10-20 mph if not more for something like a 500 mile trip. At 60mph, it would take 8 hours and 20 minutes. At 80mph, it would only take 6 hours and 15 minutes. Big difference for almost anyone, driver or passenger.

Doug G

I'd love to see a new 3 cylinder geo metro.

It's got all the visual appeal of a prius and better MPG for about a third the price. Whats not to love?

Soakee

Some questions: Just how does one "drive" a "driverless" car? What is fueling this obsession with safety? Would it not help if drivers oaid more attention to driving, rather than less?

@Soakee one is still "driving," even when the vehicle is autonomously navigating, because he/she still controls the waypoints of "A" to "B" (i.e. the driver). The car can't go anywhere without being commanded to do so. Hopefully that makes sense.

Dan

Funny, I would prefer if about 49% of drivers out there had someone or something else in control of their vehicle too.

Driverless already

I want a car that drops me off and then goes and parks itself, and then picks me up when I'm done.

Dan

I thought the Geo (later Chevy) Metro was no longer produced and only available on the pre-owned market.

Dr. Zoidberg

I think Driverless has the right idea... I want a car that I can tell to pick up groceries and run errands for me, while I'm at work or at home. Or, I'd use it so I could drive a long distance and maybe sleep the whole way... ah, the future will be awesome

al arioli

This could be phased in, first on interstates. The challenges there are limited, a combination of crash-avoidance/spacing, and installation of guidance markers on or beside the road.

Matt

This is a horrible idea. I like driving over other modes of transportation for the extra freedom allowed. I like being able to just get in my car and go cruising around on a nice day, or the freedom to decide "Do I want to take to the freeway or take the scenic route?"
And I just simply like driving, and I like making my own decisions too.

I would be very happy to get a new three-cylinder Geo Metro, thankyouverymuch.

Fred Steadman

Self driven cars will probably change the pattern of car ownership. If cars roam free looking for passengers, all cities might begin to look like NYC, in that nobody would bother with car ownership, preferring to just step to the curb and hail a ride.

On the down side, more jobs lost to automatiion. In a few years most of the teasters, cab drivers and even airline pilots may be gone.

John Koester

This system sounds great as long as all the components work. What happens if one vehicle looses communication, or even worse, there's a power outage? My area had multi day power outages twice in the last four years. In the automatic car future, everyone would have been stuck.
I have nothing against technology (love my GPS), but to assist me, not control me.

Matthias

We already have this sort of thing--they're called trains and buses.

Noriene

You either 'drive' a car, or you're a passenger. Despite all those cliche's about back seat drivers etc. it's not a good idea. John Koester made the best argument so far. And I want to throw motorcycles into the mix. Just how well will all those electric devices 'sense' them?
If you don't like to drive, DON'T!!! You have the train, plane, bus, taxi options. I REALLY DON'T LIKE the idea of 'drivers' who aren't paying attention to what's going on around them now. The new Mercedes commercials just scream inattentive driver to me. I want those people involved in the process, not ignoring it!!!

LOL i thought that all the things on the car were like machine guns :D XD

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