SAE study reveals enthusiasm about self-driving cars
SAE International released the results of its SAE Demo Days Survey, finding "overwhelming public enthusiasm about self-driving cars." Based on data from nearly 1400 participants at four SAE Demo Days events, 82% were initially enthusiastic for self-driving cars, with nearly 10% of participants reporting higher enthusiasm post-ride.
The SAE Demo Days Survey polled actual riders of a self-driving car. Through the SAE Demo Days program, the organization delivers an experience to help people gain awareness and hands-on understanding of self-driving cars, as only 6% of participants had ridden in a self-driving car before taking part in an SAE Demo Days event.
Results of the survey show that the public is enthusiastic about self-driving cars: 76% think a self-driving car experience is similar or superior to a human-driven experience. In addition, the public thinks self-driving cars will be safer: 37% think the greatest benefit of self-driving cars is the elimination or reduction of deaths due to accidents. Also revealed by the survey, the public prefers to share control with the car: 92% want to have control shared between human and self-driving.
“Public acceptance is vital to the future of self-driving cars. Through SAE Demo Days, we are engaging the public directly and inviting them to take a ride,” said Mark Chung, Chief Marketing Officer at SAE International. “The demos foster informed decision making while allowing SAE to capture insights from those who have taken a ride. The SAE Demo Days self-driving car experience spurred enthusiasm among nearly all of the riders and the experience overall is viewed by participants as comparable to or better than a human-driven experience.”
SAE Demo Days convened industry partners for free public self-driving car demonstrations between November 2017 and April 2019 in Detroit, Los Angeles, Tampa, and Babcock Ranch, FL. More than 2000 rides were given at the events, which allowed the public to experience the technology firsthand. Surveys were collected onsite before and after the self-driving demo ride.
The design of the SAE Demo Days survey was a collaborative effort between SAE and its strategic partners. Questions were added and removed for each event based upon participant feedback, partner ideas, and value of collected responses. The survey contained three sections: registration, pre-ride, and post-ride. The pre-ride and post-ride portions contained a mix of modal, brand, consumer use, and mobility opinion-based questions.
A detailed narrative with additional survey findings is available for download at sae.org/demodays.