A new AAA survey on automated vehicles found only 12% of drivers would trust riding in a self-driving car, and 28% don't know how they feel about the technology.

The study also found 57% of Americans said they would like to have a clear understanding of who would be legally responsible in the event of a crash with an automated vehicle.

It said 51% are interested in laws to make sure self-driving cars are safe. 49% want to know how vulnerable the cars will be to hackers.

Robert Sinclair, Jr., manager of media relations at AAA Northeast, noted the Uptane program out of the New York University School of Engineering in Brooklyn aims to produce software that resists hackers.

He said cars are subjected to being hacked through technologies such as GPS tracking, Bluetooth and even inspections which are computerized.

Driver attitudes toward self-driving cars are not favorable partly because drivers want to have some ability to take over if a vehicle suddenly malfunctions, he said. Many of these self-driving vehicles won't have steering wheels, gas or brakes, which is a problem for a lot of drivers, Sinclair said.

Others say they want backup drivers, "but it's really the information or the lack thereof as it relates to how these vehicles will operate and insurance considerations," Sinclair said.

 

Sinclair said the promise of automated cars is to take the driver out of the equation, hopefully reducing the number of car crashes that are blamed on human error. But he said technologies in these cars like lane departure warnings and automated emergency braking are not reliable enough. He said it'll be a while before the technology is reliable enough for entirely automated cars to be common on the roads.

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