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Americans Split on Future of Self-Driving Cars

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March 24, 2015—As auto manufacturers move closer to fully autonomous vehicles, American consumers have yet to come to a consensus on a future with driverless vehicles.

According to a recent study by The Harris Poll, which surveyed 2,276 U.S. adults between Nov. 12 and 17, only 35 percent see autonomous driving as the future of transportation. 

When provided with a brief description of self-driving vehicles and an aided list of potential feelings they may have toward the technology, participants displayed a wide range of sentiments toward the subject. Twenty-four percent think this vehicle technology could provide the designated drivers of the future. Meanwhile, almost one quarter of adults (24 percent) believed self-driving vehicles are something out of "The Jetsons" cartoon. Just over one-fifth of Americans (22 percent) said it's a technology they'd love to have and 19 percent say they're "insanely cool."

But it's not all sunshine and robots, with 34 percent saying the vehicles are an unnecessary luxury and nearly a third (32 percent) feeling they're something only rich people could afford. Furthermore, 30 percent say they're an even lazier way to drive. Then there are those who just don't know what to make of them; 12 percent said they're "confusing."

Full results of the study, including data tables, can be found here.

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