Most Americans Wary of Self-Driving Cars as Trust in Tesla Wanes: Study

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By Car Brand Experts

Americans Express Distrust in Self-Driving Cars Amid Tesla’s Waning Trust: Study

A Shift in Perception

A recent survey conducted by Forbes Legal reveals that there is a growing skepticism among Americans towards self-driving cars. With 93 percent of respondents expressing concerns about safety and functionality, and 61 percent stating they wouldn’t trust autonomous vehicles with their loved ones, it’s evident that trust in this technology is dwindling.

Tesla’s Impact on Trust

The survey highlights a significant decrease in confidence in Tesla’s automation technologies following a December recall affecting over two million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found issues with Tesla’s driver monitoring systems, attributing them to numerous crashes involving the company’s automated driving features. This has led to 62 percent of respondents losing faith in Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Beta.

Industry Challenges

The negative sentiment towards self-driving cars is further compounded by Cruise’s recent scandal, where their driverless taxis were pulled off public roads due to withholding crucial evidence related to a pedestrian incident. Reports from the NHTSA reveal that autonomous vehicles are involved in more crashes per million miles traveled compared to human drivers, adding fuel to the growing distrust.


As skepticism rises, the autonomous vehicle industry faces challenges ahead. Only 29 percent of respondents are willing to pay a premium for driverless technology, signaling a potential slowdown in the industry’s growth in the next five years. While the future of self-driving cars remains uncertain, it’s clear that trust and safety concerns are key factors shaping public opinion.


The evolving landscape of self-driving cars reflects a delicate balance between innovation and public trust. With growing skepticism towards autonomous technology and recent setbacks from industry giants like Tesla and Cruise, the road ahead for driverless cars seems uncertain. While the promise of safer roads and efficient transportation remains appealing, addressing concerns around safety and reliability is paramount for the widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles.


Q: Are self-driving cars completely safe?

A: While self-driving cars offer the potential for increased road safety through advanced technologies, recent incidents have highlighted the importance of addressing safety concerns and ensuring rigorous testing and monitoring protocols.

Q: Will self-driving cars become mainstream in the near future?

A: The adoption of self-driving cars may be slower than initially anticipated, as public trust and regulatory challenges continue to impact the industry’s growth trajectory. Further technological advancements and enhanced safety measures may be necessary for widespread acceptance.

Q: How can companies like Tesla regain public trust in their self-driving technologies?

A: Companies in the autonomous vehicle space need to prioritize transparency, rigorous testing, and proactive communication to rebuild trust with consumers. Addressing safety concerns, complying with regulations, and demonstrating the reliability of their technologies are crucial steps in regaining trust.

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