Self-Driving Cars

Northwest drivers in the US trust autonomous driving tech has increased

According to a new poll by PEMCO Mutual Insurance, Northwest drivers in the US trust autonomous technology much more than earlier. The latest technology-driven bells and whistles continue to increase. Drivers today are embracing safety tech assistance, especially in the Northwest side.

Self-Driving Cars
Image credits- CQ Press Library

While the regulatory restrictions and other aspects continue to be stringent in various locations. It’s the people who are going to use the technology. Interestingly there is various set of people who may or may not trust the safety assistance features. According to the PEMCO Poll, as certain vehicle technologies have become more commonplace in new and used cars, drivers in Seattle and Portland are two- to three times more likely than they were six years ago to have safety features like brake assist, backup cameras, blind spot warning and collision avoidance installed in their vehicle. Today, 55% of Northwest drivers have a backup camera in their primary vehicles, compared to just 22% who said the same in 2016. Similarly, the number of Northwest drivers with forwarding collision avoidance has tripled in six years – 32% of Northwest drivers currently have this feature, while just 10% did in 2016.

Trusting technology

As more vehicle safety features become standard, drivers’ trust in the technology has increased, as well. Among Seattle drivers in 2022, 58% said they mostly or completely trust vehicle safety features, which is up from 45% of drivers who said the same in 2016. In Portland, the increase in trust is even more profound with 59% saying they mostly or completely trust these features in 2022, while only 38% said the same in 2016.

Though many Northwest drivers are confident in their car’s safety features, when it comes to driverless or autonomous vehicles, PEMCO’s poll tells a different story. The poll found that more than four in five residents feel somewhat or extremely concerned about the safety of sharing streets and roads with driverless vehicles. In Seattle, 85% of respondents say they’re at least somewhat concerned with sharing the roads with an autonomous vehicle, while in Portland, 82% of respondents feel the same. “It’s been interesting to follow this trend over time and see that even in the tech-savvy region of the Pacific Northwest, drivers here still share a healthy amount of skepticism for the safety of driverless cars,” said PEMCO spokesperson Allison Leep.

The PEMCO poll also found that residents here predict that driverless cars will be welcome on a majority of city streets and highways within the next five years. About half (51%) think that autonomous vehicles will cruise the streets in five years or less, even if a human is required to monitor from the driver’s seat, which is double what it was in 2016.