Six in ten people would feel unsafe as pedestrians in cities with self-driving cars

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
April 26, 2019, 8:00 PM UTC

Just over a quarter (28%) of Americans would feel “very safe” or “somewhat safe” in walkable areas where self-driving cars are allowed 

Driverless cars are lauded as the future of automotive safety, but a strong majority of Americans are still wary about the future implications of walking around a city that allows them.

According to new YouGov data, less than three in ten (28%) people would be comfortable as pedestrians in cities where self-driving cars are welcomed. By more than double, Americans would feel “somewhat unsafe” or “very unsafe” taking a stroll where automated vehicles rule the road. About one in ten (12%) were undecided on their stance.

Americans over 55 are more likely than younger people to express concern about automated vehicles. Seven in ten (71%) people over age 55 would feel “somewhat unsafe” or “very unsafe” as pedestrians in a city with hands-free automobiles, more than three times the number (18%) who would feel safe around the vehicles.

By comparison, less than half (48%) of people ages 18 to 24 would feel unsafe, but 32% would feel “very safe” or “somewhat safe” around self-driving cars. More than one-third of people between 25 to 44 years old say they would feel safe (36%) as a pedestrian in a city with self-driving cars.

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,844 US adults aged 18+. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. Interviews were conducted online on April 22, 2019.

Related: Tesla begins to recover from Elon Musk controversies and deadly autopilot crash

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Image: Getty