Today’s consumers have significant doubts, and surveys over the past five years show little movement in people’s skepticism about many aspects of AVs.
Particularly deep is a reluctance about riding in, or even sharing the road with, the kinds of cars manufacturers are ultimately shooting to bring to market: Level 5 driverless cars that pretty much eliminate the role of the human driver and typically don’t even have steering wheels.
UM-Dearborn psychology professors Marie Waung and Pam McAuslan, who study the psychological aspects of AVs, say we shouldn’t be all that surprised by this. Emerging technologies, particularly ones that involve human safety, often face initial skepticism. Airplanes, even elevators, faced similar challenges. Moreover, it reflects the dynamic nature of “trust” — a very complex psychological phenomenon that’s influenced by multiple, interlocking, non-static layers. When it comes to AVs, they say it’s still early days for the technology — and hence for our