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Study Reveals Drivers Are Scared Of ‘Robot’ Vehicles


Intel has placed a huge investment around self-driving technology through projects with FCA, Delphi, and BMW; as well as the creation of its own silicon and an acquisition of Mobileye that cost a whopping $15.3 billion dollars. Therefore, it is no surprise that the company recently unveiled a research study on how drivers feel about autonomous cars.

As per Intel’s Senior Principal Engineer Jack Weast, drivers are ‘scared’ when it comes to ‘robot cars’. That is, until they gain a better understanding of what these cars can do. The Intel Trust Interaction Study findings revealed seven concerns that drivers had when it came to self-driving technology.

Autoblog advises that first and foremost, there was a concern around driver judgement and how autonomous cars would react when a vehicle cut in front of them; which is a fair assessment. Then there was the idea of no driving involved, while on the one hand can be positive because it offers passengers more free time. Downside? No driver to offer driving advice to; backseat driving goes out the window, for lack of a better term.

Some additional concerns included, the annoying idea that the car might provide too much communication while driving, as well as many drivers don’t necessarily like the idea of giving up the actual ‘driving’ part of driving; still, this will offer more free time (see above) to play on your smartphone device or just relax.

Still, another thing some participants in the study worried about is how the technology around autonomous cars work, what they can do, and how it all comes together. While the idea is to minimize car accidents with autonomous cars, there is a true fear around malfunction.

Respondents in the study also relayed that they like how the car talks to them, but there are concerns around talking back to the car to provide suggestions and tips; and if the communication would truly sink in.

Which brings us to the last concern in the study. Some drivers relayed the fact that they don’t always like the idea of ‘following’ the road rules (i.e. speeding, not always stopping at a stop sign, etc.), as autonomous cars will be programed to ‘follow’ rules such as these. Still, as much as people don’t like following some road rules, most are put in place to keep roads safe.
The research gathered drivers with no past experience when it came to self-driving cars and a test ride was included as part of the study.

While many have concerns it does seem like autonomous driving is the wave of the auto future. People will have to either adjust to the change or hop on the self-driving wagon at some point. Time will only tell.