Canadians are wary of driverless cars, according to research released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) on the eve of a major conference looking at the future of autonomous vehicles.
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Canadians say they would not trust a vehicle to drive itself while they’re in it, stating concerns such as vehicle hacking, theft of data generated by the vehicle and accountability in the event of an accident.
Despite their doubts today, Canadians still believe there are benefits to driverless cars in the future, such as improved accessibility for people with mobility issues and fewer road safety incidents due to reduced human error. In fact, more than half (57 percent) of Canadians say they think this technology will advance to a point where they would fully trust a driverless car in the next 10 years.
“Canadians clearly see the potential. We are just not there yet. Conferences like this one will help advance the dialogue around the pros and cons of this new technology,” said Jeff Walker, vice president of Public Affairs for CAA National. “Wherever the debate leads, CAA will be there to make sure the views of the driving public are well represented.”
The public opinion research was done in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada’s conference, Automated Vehicles: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology, being held April 19-20 in Toronto. CAA, which is sponsoring the conference, will also moderate a panel on the privacy considerations surrounding driverless cars on Tuesday at 2:45 p.m.
The results are based on a survey of 2,090 representative Canadians, conducted between March 23rd and March 30th.