CAA: Canadians unfamiliar, worried about autonomous vehicles

Survey results coincide with insurer’s launch of a new online portal to raise awareness

CAA: Canadians unfamiliar, worried about autonomous vehicles


By Lyle Adriano

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is sharing the results of its latest report, which found that many Canadians are concerned about the rise of autonomous vehicle technologies.

According to the poll results, more than 55% of Canadians believe that autonomous vehicles (AV) have benefits, but 61% have concerns about accountability when an accident happens. Another 59% said they are worried about autonomous vehicles being hacked, while 53% are worried that third parties can access driver-generated data without permission.

“New vehicles today contain some form of connected or automated vehicle technology, whether that’s Bluetooth connectivity, lane assist or another feature,” commented CAA National chief strategy officer Jeff Walker.

Walker noted that while semi-autonomous vehicle and connected car innovations today will serve as the cornerstones for tomorrow’s true autonomous vehicles, a “vast majority of Canadians are not familiar with the technology.”

CAA’s survey comes as the insurer launches a new online portal, called “Connected and Autonomous Vehicles,” which serves to educate drivers about connected and autonomous vehicles.

“The transition to autonomous vehicles will likely happen gradually,” Walker commented, remaining hopeful that the technology – while intimidating to some – can make a noticeable and positive difference in driver safety.

“In the long run, AVs will save lives since collisions will be much fewer and far between, and they will allow seniors or others with limited mobility the opportunity to regain independence.”

A previous survey conducted by CAA found that 57% of drivers said they believe that, within a decade, driverless technology will reach a point where they would be able to trust vehicles with such systems.

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