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The Thought Of Sitting In A Self-Driving Vehicle Still Scares Most People

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Where do you stand when it comes to autonomous cars?

While some can't wait for the convenience of sitting and relaxing in the vehicle while a self-driving car takes them from point A to point B, others feel terrified about the mere thought of not being in control of their car.

According to a recent AAA survey, as spotted by CNBC, 75 percent of drivers say they would be afraid to be driven around by an autonomous vehicle.

Within that same survey, 61 percent of the 1,800 drivers polled — ages 18 and up — desired more access to driver-assistance features, such as self-parking, lane-departure warnings and adaptive cruise control, but still remain iffy about fully-autonomous cars.

That speaks across generations, as CNBC pointed out that upwards of 80 percent of baby boomers said they would be scared to ride in a self-driving car, with 69 percent of younger people feeling the same way.

As for gender within that feeling, 67 percent of men had concerns about self-driving cars, while 81 percent of women did as well.

People feeling this way will have three years to warm up to the technology, with automakers projecting 2020 as the desired target date for self-driving cars impacting roads.

"I'm a little bit skeptical when a carmaker ... says we are going to be able to sell cars, autonomously driven, before 2020, in 2018, when the regulation is not ready," Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault-Nissan, said during an event. "And we know the technology is still in a prototype phase."

When speaking with auto execs from Toyota and Mercedes-Benz at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas two months ago, they told us that 2020 was perhaps too ambitious to have fully-autonomous cars on the road and that the public is likely to see bolstered advances in driver-assistance technologies instead.

"I assume there will be more driver-assist functions. The question is can you just use some of the driver-assist functions together and end up with something that you could call autonomous driving? I'm not sure that this will work," Heiko Kraft, director of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development in North America and head of the automaker's autonomous driving, told us at CES 2016 in January. "But with all the knowledge that we gain, we try to improve our autonomous vehicle system in order to provide a good product for the customer. "

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