Amid Tesla autopilot probe, 47% people say self-driving cars less safe: Survey
While EV giant Tesla is being probed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration agency (NHTSA) for its autopilot-system-related crashes, there have been concerns about safety of autonomous vehicles. A new survey conducted by Morning Consult in the US last month revealed that 47% adults believe self-driving vehicles are less safe than normal human-driven ones.
Seventeen per cent adults believe that autonomous vehicles are as safe as regular cars, up from 8 per cent who said the same in 2018. While 22 per cent say that self-driving vehicles are more safe than human-driven vehicles, the share of people who believe this has dropped from 27 percent in 2018 who said the same.
However, despite the recent series of setbacks for autonomous vehicles post reports of Tesla crashes, public interest in self-driving cars has increased slightly since 2018. When asked if they would ride in an autonomous vehicle, 23 per cent of adults replied in affirmative, up from 19 per cent in 2018. About 34 per cent said they would not travel in a self-driving car, down from 38 per cent in 2018.
While the Tesla crashes involving autopilot system have gained major attention from safety agencies and regulators, the survey reveals that the news has failed to reach majority of general public. The poll states that only one in ten US citizens had heard ‘a lot’ about the Tesla autopilot crashes and the investigation opened in its aftermath.
Only 11 per cent of the respondents had heard ‘a lot’ about the crashes while only 9 per cent had heard ‘a lot’ out the federal investigation. About 38 per cent had some information about the crashes while only 36% about the probe. Share of people who had heard nothing at all about the crashes was about 28 per cent while 30 per cent had heard nothing about the federal probe relating to Tesla autopilot crashes.