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A recent survey by a team from the Swinburne University of Technology revealed that while vehicle automation is a desirable trend for Australian drivers, a large majority still want the option to take control of the car.

Spearheaded by Hussein Dia (Professor of Future Urban Mobility) and Ali Martin (Department of Civil and Construction Engineering), the survey gathered opinions from 562 respondents. It revealed a mixed sentiment towards self-driving vehicles.

“In our representative survey of 562 respondents from Melbourne, the overall results showed good public support,” the team said in a report from The Conversation.

Approximately 47 percent of respondents viewed them as a positive trend and a desirable travel option for Australians. However, 18 percent disagreed, with a sizable 35 percent remaining undecided. Furthermore, nearly half of the respondents believed that vehicle automation would lessen their driving workload.

Furthermore, although people see the benefits of self-driving cars, they’re still unsure about giving up full control. 74 percent of the respondents think these cars should let humans drive too, and 62 percent would feel stressed if the car did all the driving. Most also want to decide when and where the car’s automated features are used.

Hesitancy Among Drivers

Safety is also a big concern for most people. Over 80 percent are worried about who’d be responsible if something goes wrong, like an accident or malfunction. They’re also concerned about factors like the car’s technology failing, how it handles bad weather, cyberattacks, and keeping their data private.

People also worry about sharing the road with self-driving cars, especially when the cars are mixed with regular ones. They’re unsure how well these cars will interact with other drivers, and many feel uneasy about self-driving trucks.

When asked what makes them hesitant about self-driving cars, most mentioned concerns about how reliable the technology is, how expensive these cars are, and legal issues.

Despite these concerns, a significant portion of people (40 percent) are open to buying self-driving cars, mainly because they think it’s better for the environment and can make driving safer.

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