Earlier this month, Google showcased the prototype for its self-driving car for the first time, generating a lot of buzz about when we’ll start seeing more of these vehicles on the road – and how safe these vehicles will actually be.

In a blog debuting the prototype of its self-driving car, Google stated that it will be testing this vehicle on its test track and that “we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year.”

Concerns Regarding the Self-Driving Car

Google’s debut of its self-driving car has raised some interesting questions about the safety and future of these vehicles. Would you buy a self-driving car?

Google’s debut of its self-driving car has raised some interesting questions about the safety and future of these vehicles. Would you buy a self-driving car?

In a poll conducted by Harris on behalf of AutoTrader.com, approximately 65 percent of respondents stated that they believed that the notion of a self-driving car is “dangerous.” Interestingly, however:

  • More than 60 percent of respondents stated that they would consider purchasing a vehicle with certain automatic features, like self-parking or collision avoidance systems.
  • About 50 percent of respondents expressed that they would NOT purchase vehicles that had technology that was too difficult to use.

This may indicate that Google (and automakers) may end up having a difficult time convincing people that the self-driving car is worth the investment and/or is safe.

The Case for the Self-Driving Car

While there is clearly some resistance to the notion of the self-driving car, there is a strong case for these vehicles. In particular, the case for the self-driving car may lie in the facts that:

  • Human error is a factor in more than 90 percent of motor vehicle accidents that occur each year in the U.S. (according to data from the NHTSA).
  • The self-driving car could make the following issues irrelevant in the future – drunk driving, distracted driving, non-compliance with traffic laws, fatigued driving and aggressive driving.

As 2015 continues to roll on, it will be interesting to see what progress Google makes in the prototype of its self-driving car – and whether there may be moves by the end of the year to start making these vehicles available to consumers.

What do you think about the self-driving car? Do you think it’s dangerous or a good idea? Would you purchase one? We want to know your thoughts – sound off in the comments below, and share this on social media.

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