The Big Worry About Driverless Cars? Losing Privacy
2013-06-03 0:00

By Joseph B. White | Driver’s Seat

The concept of self-driving cars may be all the rage in technology circles, but the organization that represents big U.S. auto makers says a new poll due out later this week indicates many U.S. consumers are wary about sharing the road with robot vehicles that could be hacked by mischief makers.

About 42% of respondents to a poll conducted for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said automated or “self-driving” cars are a bad idea, while 33% said they think such technology is a good idea, according to findings the Alliance plans to release later this week. About 24% of the 2,000 adults surveyed by Pulse Opinion Research said they don’t know what to think about cars that can pilot their own way down the highway.

A more clear-cut worry surfaced in the poll: Privacy. About 75% of respondents said they were concerned that companies would use the software that controls a self-driving car to collect personal data, and 70% were worried that data would be shared with the government. Asked whether they were worried that hackers could gain control of a self-driving vehicle, 81% of the respondents replied they were either very or somewhat concerned about that threat, the Alliance says.


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