By Colin Bird on February 24, 2011
I’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)