Although autonomous test vehicles are allowed on public roads in 38 states, plus Washington D.C., a survey from AAA and Harvard shows that many drivers don’t like the idea of sharing roads with these test vehicles. In fact, depending on the road and vehicle, 43% to 53% felt less safe having the test vehicles on the road. Only 11% to 13% felt safer with those vehicles on the road, and the remainder were either unsure or felt it wouldn’t change things.
The survey also revealed that there are actions companies and researchers can take to make concerned drivers feel safer. The top two include clearly marking an autonomous test car as such, and possibly creating designated lanes and areas for testing. Another item that fewer people said would make them comfortable would be designated time slots when autonomous vehicles could test.