Survey Finds Many Would Forego Owning a Personal Vehicle if They Had Access to Self-Driving Vehicles

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According to a new report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), more than one-in-three adults nationwide would likely forego owning or leasing a personal vehicle if self-driving vehicles operated by transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, were available to them.

“These findings confirm strong public interest in self-driving vehicles, but highlight the concerns many drivers have about their safety,” said Elizabeth Sprinkel, CPCU, senior vice president of the IRC.

According to a new report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), more than one-in-three adults nationwide would likely forego owning or leasing a personal vehicle if self-driving vehicles operated by transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, were available to them. More than half expressed interest in owning or leasing their own self-driving vehicle if the vehicles were at least as safe as driving is today. The survey also found that while two-thirds of all adult drivers believe that self-driving vehicles will become as safe as or safer than driving is today, fewer than half expect to ride in a self-driving vehicle in their lifetime.

Surveyed approximately one-month after the fatal and widely-publicized crash of an Uber-operated autonomous vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, almost two-thirds of those who had heard about the accident said it negatively affected their opinions about self-driving vehicles. More than half thought that news about accidents involving self-driving vehicles would significantly slow their introduction and use.

“These findings confirm strong public interest in self-driving vehicles, but highlight the concerns many drivers have about their safety,” said Elizabeth Sprinkel, CPCU, senior vice president of the IRC. “If some accidents are inevitable, then it is important to understand how the transition to autonomous driving may be affected by public concerns about safety.”

The report, Autonomous Vehicles and Transportation Network Companies, Public Attitudes and Opinions, is based on an online survey conducted by Survey Sampling International, Inc. on behalf of the IRC. A total of 2,004 online interviews were conducted in April 2018. Survey data were weighted to the U.S. population of adults aged 18 and above. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at 484-831-9046 or by email at IRC(at)TheInstitutes.org. Visit IRC’s website, http://www.insurance-research.org, for information about purchasing a copy of the report.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The Insurance Research Council is a division of The Institutes. The Institutes are the leader in delivering proven knowledge solutions that drive powerful business results for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry. Institutes knowledge solutions include the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) designation program; associate designation programs in claims, risk management, underwriting, and reinsurance; introductory and foundation programs; online courses; research; custom solutions; assessment tools; and continuing education (CE) courses. The IRC provides timely and reliable research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative positions. It is supported by leading property-casualty insurance organizations.

CPCU is a registered trademark of The Institutes. All rights reserved.

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David Corum, CPCU

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