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If you've ever seen the movie Demolition Man with Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone, you will remember the phrase, "auto drive!"  Cars in the movie were self-driving, with sometimes interesting results.

 Poll shows we're not even close to accepting self-driving cars

The poll was conducted in 2019, by PEMCO Insurance, of Pacific Northwest drivers, and a recent Newsweek Magazine poll has reaffirmed the data.

  Back in 2019, drivers in WA, and OR showed only 1 in 3 drivers were comfortable with the idea of a self-driving vehicle. Predictably, the younger the driver, the more interest there was, but even in younger persons, the results were still well below 50 percent.

Both younger and older drivers believe eventually, perhaps even within a decade, that self-driving cars will be seen at least somewhat on our roads. But that doesn't mean they want one.

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  The Newsweek Magazine poll dated March 7 of this year shows only 29 percent of those surveyed were OK with the idea, while surprisingly 26 percent said they were OK with riding in someone else's self-driving car.


We're still not sold on them. (Otto the Autopilot--movie Airplane-YouTube video still)
We're still not sold on them. (Otto the Autopilot--movie Airplane-YouTube video still)

 Younger drivers more accepting of the idea

The Newsweek poll showed drivers 18-49 had a higher approval of the idea, 40 percent, while older drivers were only at 18.

Self-driving vehicles were getting a lot more attention a few years ago, before COVID.  But now, a few years later, even with high gas prices, the battle to convince people to even drive an electric vehicle has not made a ton of headway.

 Why the resistance to self-driving cars?

The PEMCO and other studies indicate it's primarily about control.  Drivers indicate they're just not OK with taking their hands off the wheel. It's especially apparent when the subject of accidents comes up. Most drivers feel if they are paying close attention, they can perform better at avoiding a crash or serious incident than a computer.


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