You're Unlikely to Be Tooling Around Soon in an Autonomous Car

A recent in-depth report on self-driving cars states that testing companies put their operating systems “through millions of virtual, computerized and highly customizable trials.”

Does that knowledge fill you with confidence as an Indiana motorist and potential consumer of somewhere-around-the-corner driverless technology?

If you’re a typical driver, apparently not. Multiple studies and surveys indicate that a clear majority of American motorists want nothing to do with autonomous vehicles.

At least presently.

Recent polling data indicate that nearly two of every three people across the country fear any engagement with a self-driving car. More than half dismiss outright the idea of ever riding in one.

And here’s something interesting: Most American don’t believe that next-generation driverless vehicles will ever be safer than those operated by humans, regardless of how much testing they undergo.

The testing protocol and magnitude are what researchers and safety regulators are most focused upon right now. Billions of miles of driverless-linked evidence has emerged and is being culled and constantly fine-tuned to make cars progressively safer.

Many experts say that the work done thus far is relatively paltry, though. Billions of miles more must be driven, and public confidence must be dramatically increased before consumers feel sufficiently emboldened to make self-driving car purchases.

It is notable that only a minority of states have enacted legislation regulating autonomous vehicle technology and testing, notwithstanding the high level of concern expressed with them.

Indiana is one of those states. State officials have clearly adopted a wait-and-see attitude.