Self-Driving Cars: Are We Ready?

self-driving cars, autonomous vehicle

A recent AAA Carolinas survey revealed that 71 percent of Carolinians are not yet comfortable with self-driving cars, with only 29 percent saying they were ready for a ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.

Across the country, however, drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles. The annual survey reveals that 63 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, a significant decrease from 78 percent in early 2017. Millennial and male drivers are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half reporting they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. 

How safe are they?

Every year, more than 35,000 people die on U.S. roadways, so AV technology is intended to improve safety. Human error contributes to more than 90 percent of crashes.

Can I buy a self-driving car now?

Some vehicles include many self-driving technologies, but as we’ve seen from a pedestrian fatality involving a self – driving car in Arizona in March, even the most advanced systems available today require your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Experts agree that we’re unlikely to see a fully self-driving fleet for decades. However, we may begin to see some highly automated vehicles in the next three to four years. 

To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.  

Get the latest information on traffic safety and driving tips by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Visit

(Go Magazine May/June 2018)