Report: Most Motorists Fear Driverless Vehicles

Auto Club AAA finds majority of motorists want more autonomous technology but are scared of riding in driverless car.

A new national survey by the auto club AAA finds that most drivers say they would be frightened of riding in an autonomous vehicle.

Automakers, including Detroit’s Big 3, are making significant investments in autonomous technology.


“They like the components…But I think they’re afraid to give up the entire control of the car.” – AAA Managing Director of Engineering John Nielsen


The managing director of engineering for AAA Automotive is John Nielsen.

He says most of the drivers surveyed, no matter their age, did not embrace the idea of a “driverless” car.

Jake Neher/WDET

Even some academics say cars are quickly becoming rolling computers.

And Nielsen says consumers do want the kind of new technology that powers autonomous vehicles.

“They like the components,” Nielsen said. “So they like collision awareness or they might like self-parking. But I think they’re afraid to give up the entire control of the car. And as a result they’re hesitant.”

Nielsen says more women than men fear riding in a driverless car.

He tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter that drivers in the millennial age bracket also fear autonomous vehicles will carry a larger-than-usual price tag.


Click on the audio link above to hear the entire interview



  • Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.