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In a recent KBB.com Quick Poll, we asked consumers if they would ever consider purchasing a self-driving vehicle. While 53 percent replied “no, never,” the remaining 47 percent were either ready today or were waiting for the technology to mature.
Chalk me into the “no, never” category because as long as I can avoid serious congestion, I enjoy driving. However, a large percentage of consumers are interested in a potentially hands-off driving experience. A more interesting question is: Will they ever get one?
The handful of self-driving cars on the road today all have human operators at the wheel and pedals, ready to take over in the event that human correction becomes necessary, but in the first 300,000 miles of Google's small self-driving car feelt, not a single accident occurred. Still, as self-driving cars become more prevalent, accidents are bound to happen, which raises an important question: Who is liable – the human “driver” or the manufacturer? It seems unlikely manufacturers would put cars on the road they could be held liable for anything beyond today’s standards of safety, so I expect the brunt of liability will still fall on the human driver. This means that the human driver may not be able to completely tune out from driving to focus on other tasks while he or she is supposed to be paying attention to what their vehicle is doing.
Here are some other questions that surround this technology:
We frequently run Quick Polls on KBB.com. Is there a question you want consumers to answer? Ask it below in the comments and we will evaluate it for a future Quick Poll.