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Driverless Cars Worry Drivers, JD Power Study Says

Image: Driverless Cars Worry Drivers, JD Power Study Says

This May 13, 2014, file photo shows a row of Google self-driving Lexus cars at a Google event outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

By    |   Monday, 24 Apr 2017 03:12 PM

Driverless cars are worrying drivers based on a new study that points to consumers’ fear of the risks that come with having a car fully operate on its own.

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Tech Choice Study shows that there’s been an increased wariness, perhaps, due to "high-profile but isolated accidents" involving the vehicles, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The J.D. Power study, released April 18, found that compared with last year, trust in driverless car technology declined by 9 percent to 11 percent among some groups, with the possibility of technological failures being the primary concern, the Free Press noted. Some consumers mentioned a fatal crash in which a car's cameras "failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky."

Researchers at J.D. Power and experts in the automobile industry say this heightened sense of worry among consumers will eventually fade.

"The engineering will get there. Can we take consumers with us? Can we kind of ferry them over this river of doubt and mistrust and fear and, frankly, lack of understanding and get them to the other side?" asked Dave Sargent, the vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, according to the Free Press. "I think we can. The winners are going to be the folks who can do that the best."

Charlie Miller, an automotive security researcher, said fears, including the possibility that a driverless car could be hacked, aren't unfounded, according to Public Radio International.

"Driverless cars have all of the problems of regular car security, and then you add in a bunch more computers and sensors and take the human out of the front seat, altogether, so it’s a difficult problem," Miller said, according to PRI.

Miller doesn’t view this as an issue not worthy of overcoming, though, saying it’s simply a problem "we’re going to have to solve if we’re going to rely on these vehicles."

Miller’s remarks come two years after he and another researcher hacked into a Jeep Cherokee via the internet as part of an experiment.

"I was able to run code on their car. I could then send messages to the other components like the brakes and steering and tell the steering that ‘hey, you should turn the steering wheel right now!’ and the car would answer and do that," Miller said, according to PRI.

Miller, who says hacking a car is difficult and he trusts driverless technology over human drivers, is working to make driverless cars resilient to hacking.

"I know the way that bad guys get in, and I can help try to figure out ways to make it to where they can’t," he said, according to PRI.

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Driverless cars are worrying drivers based on a new study that points to consumers' fear of the risks that come with having a car fully operate on its own.
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2017-12-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 03:12 PM
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