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Video: N.Y., Calif. More Eager for Autonomous Cars

June 29, 2016

VIDEO: Volvo’s Drive Me Project

A total of 90% of New Yorkers and 86% of Californians feel that autonomous cars could make life easier, according to a new survey from Volvo.

Volvo Cars’ “Future of Driving” online survey has drawn nearly 50,000 responses worldwide, the company said.

Residents in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Texas are less convinced than the average American about the safety benefits of autonomous driving. Only about half (52%) of Illinois respondents would trust an autonomous car to make decisions about safety, 10% less than the national average, according to survey results.

Similarly, only 62% of Pennsylvanians think that having more autonomous cars on the road will eliminate traffic accidents versus a national average of 68%. Additionally, 60% of Texans believe autonomous cars could keep their family safer compared to 69% of people across the nation, the survey indicated.

“The difference between states regarding the safety benefits of autonomous cars highlights why we need a federal framework for autonomous driving regulations,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA.

Nationally, Americans are concerned about the pace at which lawmakers are responding to the prospect of autonomous cars. An overwhelming majority of respondents, 90%, believe governments and local authorities are slow to plan for autonomous cars, the Volvo survey found.

Across all states, a majority supported autonomous driving. However, 68% of people believe that driving manually is a luxury that must be preserved.

“Volvo believes that autonomous driving vehicles should give you the freedom to choose when you want to drive and when you want to delegate driving to the car,” said Kerssemakers. “The Future of Driving survey confirmed that consumers seek this freedom as autonomous driving technologies are introduced.”

The Future of Driving survey is just one of many consumer studies Volvo Cars has conducted about autonomous driving. The company’s autonomous driving pilot program, “Drive Me,” will put 100 consumers in autonomous driving vehicles beginning in 2017.

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Remaining active in the fleet industry for more than 50 years, Ed Bobit is chairman and founder of Bobit Business Media (BBM), Automotive Fleet editor, and a founding AFLA member.

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