As auto makers and others struggle to get the American public to warm up to the idea of self-driving vehicles, a new study shows we're not there yet. In fact, if we were involved in a wreck with one, we'd actually be willing to sue the car. says noted survey taker PD Power enlisted the help of a legal firm to survey some 1,500 people across America, from various demographic groups.

They found some surprising results. The study rated vehicles from "Level 0" to "Level 5", 0 being a fully human controlled vehicle (like most on the road) to 5, which would be largely a computer controlled one, with a human just along for the ride. Only 33% believed they would sue over a wreck involving a Level 0 car, but the numbers climbed sharply the more autonomous the other car was. By legal action they meant filing a lawsuit or claim beyond insurance compensation for the wreck.

Depending upon whether you're a Gen X, Generation Z (1995-2004) or Baby Boomer, anywhere from 50 to 62% of survey recipients said they would take legal action against a self-driving car, if it were found to be the cause of their wreck. Only Generation Y people (born 1977-1994) were below that, 47% of them said they would sue.

According to, several years of modest progress in building consumer trust and confidence were destroyed with several high-profile (including fatal) crashes involving autonomous or 'self-driving' cars. They say auto makers and supporters are now virtually back at square one, the same trust level found at the beginning of the serious self-driving effort.


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