MIT Wants To Know: How Comfortable Are You With Autonomous Car Technology?

With autonomous vehicles and connected cars already starting to hit the roads of cities across the globe, the potential benefits and challenges of this mobility revolution are being scrutinized in increasing detail. This is especially true after one of Uber’s autonomous cars crashed and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. The tragedy has brought about many mixed feelings on autonomous driving in general, but companies are, quite literally, continuing to motor on with advancement. In light of all the bad press autonomous driving has received, MIT wants to get some answers and figure out just exactly how comfortable the American public is with autonomous technology.

According to the Crookston Times, MIT AgeLab wants to know about “…your experience, interest and knowledge of autonomous technologies” through a survey, and participants are eligible to be entered into drawing for one of 10 $50 Amazon Gift Cards if they respond before April 27.

“As the framework for mobility in the United States begins to shift from one of personally-owned, manually-driven vehicles to one of a shared and perhaps partially automated fleet, established driver perceptions about their trust and comfort in various vehicle technologies is critical to our understanding as to how one needs to facilitate behavior change,” says Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., a Research Scientist in the MIT AgeLab and the Associate Director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT.

Autonomous vehicles are essentially software on wheels. The technology involved in a driverless car of the future will be such that each vehicle can be optimized to ensure fuel consumption is as efficient as possible. With Tesla’s renowned Autopilot feature, Google’s autonomous car, Uber’s self-driving fleet, and even a rumoured Apple car, autonomous vehicles are about to become a mainstay of our culture.

“It is clear that the powerhouses of Silicon Valley may be key players in the future of the automotive industry,” says Reimer reported the Crookston Times. “The degree to which we will trust these technology companies to produce automated vehicles over traditional legacy manufactures is not clear.”

Driverless cars will play a key role in the future of smart cities, and they will even impact the way city infrastructure is designed and built. But just how comfortable is the general public with self-driving vehicles?