Study Shows Continued Worries About Self-Driving Car Hacking

Car manufacturers are preparing for an autonomous car revolution, but are drivers ready for it?

byEric Brandt|
Study Shows Continued Worries About Self-Driving Car Hacking


As the concept of self-driving cars is entering the mainstream, the American public still has very mixed feelings about them, according to a recent report. 

In a survey of 1,000 American adults, insurance company American International Group found that 42 percent are okay with the idea of self-driving cars, while 41 percent of respondents say they have reservations about the technology. About 39 percent of those surveyed said they thought autonomous cars would be safer than cars driven by humans.

What we can say pretty confidently is that the modern safety technology we have now, like blind spot warning, autonomous emergency braking, and backup cameras are making us safer and preventing accidents. The research on safety in the vastly more advanced autonomous cars has generally seemed favorable. Many experts say that our roads will be safer with robots driving instead of people, but some say self-driving cars will actually make traffic worse. 

What the largest number of survey respondents agreed on is the threat of hacking. About 75 percent of those surveyed believe there’s a threat of hackers taking control of fully-autonomous cars. What’s more, the majority of people surveyed don’t expect autonomous cars to be on the road within the next 20 years, even though we’re seeing semi-autonomous technology becoming commercially available right now.

On the plus side, apart from those fears, 35 percent of those surveyed believe that automated features in cars could lower insurance premiums. 

Indeed, one particularly optimistic study shows that a wider embrace of self-driving cars could reduce auto insurance premiums by 40 percent while eliminating 90 percent of all car accidents and saving 300,000 lives per decade.

Are you worried about hacking or is it worth the risk for safer roads? Let us know in the comments.