Women more worried about autonomous cars

  • Image Credit: Google
If the technological tea leaves are to be believed, autonomous vehicles might dominate society in just a couple decades. The world is still a ways off from that driverless future for now, and according to a new study from finance advice website NerdWallet, there needs to be some serious convincing to persuade people to own a model that can pilot itself. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed weren't interested in owning a model that drives itself.

NerdWallet's study is based on the results of an online survey of 1,028 people in the US with a split of 52 percent female and 48 percent male. Based on these results, there's still a major gulf in autonomous technology's acceptance: 37 percent of women report being interested in it versus 50 percent of men. The biggest concern among 55 percent of ladies is about the safety of a driverless car. Conversely, 37 percent of guys share that apprehension. For what it's worth, Google has reported 12 accidents among its fleet of self-driving test vehicles in over a million miles worth of testing.

Only a tiny group fully trusts these innovations for now. Just six percent of respondents would be willing to put a child in an autonomous vehicle to take a ride to school alone, and another 18 percent reported being unsure about doing it.

At 44 percent, men have a bigger fear that autonomous vehicles might take away the thrill of being behind the wheel; only 23 percent of women share that worry. The anxiety might have a little merit because Audi can already lap a driverless TTS around a racetrack faster than a human, and BMW's M235i can drift itself.

Marketers are going to have a challenge when it comes to selling autonomous tech. Right now, 50 percent of respondents aren't willing to pay more for self-driving features. Also, only three percent would actually buy a driverless car today. Most people are waiting at least three years before considering purchasing one.

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