According to the annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, if the “future were now,” travellers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving or autonomous vehicle.
And with the future fast approaching – as experimental transport technology accelerates at a rapid pace – the vacation vehicle of tomorrow that is closest to reality today – the self-driving car – is among the most concerning for potential travellers worried about their safety.
The Index reported that if given the opportunity to use any of the current, experimental, or near-future methods of travel today, most Americans are at least somewhat interested in experiencing nearly all the new ways to explore the world, or even beyond it.
However, only 22% of travellers are very interested (and 32% “somewhat” interested) in self-driving vehicles being developed by all the major auto manufacturers and Silicon Valley – companies like Google, Uber and Tesla – with 65% of those not interested citing worries over “safety concerns.”
Self-driving/autonomous vehicles rate lowest for travellers “very interested” and highest for “safety concerns” among those not interested when compared to all other future travel methods surveyed, including space travel, supersonic travel, Hyperloop high-speed rail, and even so-called flying cars.
Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, said that: “While transportation technology is poised to change the way Americans travel, safety has emerged as a top concern.”
He continued: “We expect consumers to be more hesitant in adopting new technologies like the artificial intelligence steering self-driving vehicles, than they might be with existing technologies such as space and supersonic travel that have been developed but are not yet available to the masses.”
And although the current outlook for traveller uptake of self-driving vehicles is uncertain, the future is brighter with 64% of travellers confident that this travel method will develop safely enough for them to consider using, which, along with Hyperloop high-speed rail (64%), is well above the confidence for the safety of supersonic travel (56%), space travel (51%) or flying cars (49%).
In total, however, only a minority are “very confident” about the safety of any of these travel methods being safe enough for mainstream consumer use.
Go to http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com for more.