A recent study by Ipsos found that 24-percent of Americans are vehemently opposed to self-driving cars and do not plan to ever put one to use, while on the global stage, the average fell closer to 13-percent. People who are eager to hop into an autonomous ride, however, outweighed this crowd more than twice over globally, with a rousing 30-percent. In the US, meanwhile, only 22-percent of respondents had such enthusiasm. The amount of respondents who had their doubts and were not entirely opposed or enthused, meanwhile, sat at 54-percent for the United States, 58-percent across all 28 surveyed countries.
The survey went into more detailed questions about use case, and revealed just how much faith the public has in self-driving cars to relieve common traffic ills. One of the key stated goals of self-driving cars, according to most makers, is safety, but only 38-percent of Americans saw it that way. The rest of the world, meanwhile, boasted 51-percent faith in autonomous cars to be safer than human driving. Across the board, people thought that self-driving cars would make travel easier and more comfortable. When it comes to regulation, the worldwide consensus, including America, was that the people who make self-driving cars are the utmost authority on them and should be trusted to keep them safe and their makers accountable. Owning a self-driving car was the most popular civilian use case in the survey, with the commonly stated use case of hiring them out like taxi cabs garnering somewhere around half as many votes. The tasks that people were willing to delegate to AI systems also varied, with parking being the most popular task with 58-percent of the vote, while only 40-percent of respondents said they would be willing to give up the wheel in bad weather.
Another factor to consider, seen in this study, is the divide between the crowds who are for and against self-driving cars. 59-percent of Democrats surveyed in the United States were for the new technology, versus only 46-percent of Republicans. Those without affiliation or who claimed Independent status, meanwhile, fell along even 50/50 lines. The implications are fairly obvious, being that left-wing progressives who are largely responsible for the development of this technology are for it, while a larger swath of the political right are against artificially intelligent drivers. A "culture war", as the survey calls it, is almost certainly brewing as the technology comes closer and closer to mass commercialization. In any other part of the world, this effect may be contained locally, but the United States is home to a number of key companies in the field, such as Waymo and Uber, who could be stifled by a culture war and the resulting possibility of regulatory changes.