A recent analysis of nearly 400,000 Twitter posts about self-driving car technology found that 17% of the conversations related to topics surrounding fear, according to a new report from Esurance.
In addition, another 20% of those tweets cited news articles or other sources about the lack of road-readiness of autonomous vehicles. For example, many tweets focused on the fact that self-driving car technology is still in a state of development.
Consistent areas of concern for consumers include how well autonomous vehicles perform in extreme weather and at night. In addition, some 6% of tweets focused on the lack of laws and regulations around self-driving vehicles.
Another 6% of tweets centered on news and concerns about crashes and fatalities linked to autonomous cars.
The Twitter data was gathered from February through April and spanned a sample of English-language posts.
The report notes that while accident rates involving self-driving vehicles are 10 times higher than accidents involving traditional motor vehicles, the majority (60%) of autonomous vehicle accidents happened at speeds less than 10 mph.
Moreover, since 2014, 30 of the 34 reported accidents involving self-driving vehicles (or 88%) have been the result of human-driver error.
Esurance also conducted a consumer survey and found that one in three drivers believe that some form of autonomous vehicle technology should be developed to combat distracted driving.
The Esurance report also notes that most people would not trust an autonomous vehicle to shuttle them around. And, according to Pew Research cited in the report, only 39% of Americans believe self-driving vehicles will make any positive impact on accident rates.