A survey was conducted by Brandone Schoettle and Michael Sivak at University of Michigan of 505 drivers across the country. The result is that 15.6% of them prefers full autonomous cars, 40.6% prefers semi autonomous cars while 43.5% still prefers to be in control of their cars at all time. 32.7% of them were moderately concerned about full autonomous car as the only option available in the market while 35.6% of them were very concerned about it.
Semi autonomous cars are already capable of driving by itself on the freeway but however, the technology will take a few more years before it is able to cruise on a busy street in Mumbai or Manhattan. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes autonomous vehicles into five levels.
Level zero is where the driver is in complete control of their cars. Level one is when the car’s safety function is activated such as the dynamic brake assist or lane-centering steering. Level two is when at least two safety systems are activated such as adaptive cruise control and lane-centering. Level three is when all the safety systems are activated but the driver is allowed to fully take control of the car with a sufficiently comfortable transition time as per NHTSA regulation. Level four is fully autonomous car where the car drives itself throughout the entire journey while the driver is able to do other things.
Based on the survey conducted, it seems that the drivers are still not confident about the safety of autonomous car despite all the benefit that it could offer, such as fewer traffic jams, less CO2 emission as well as lesser space needed as well as the regulations from NHTSA. The survey also suggests maybe the auto industry also need to some outreach to their customers as well.