Sergio Avila

Inching Their Way Towards Embracing New Vehicle Technology

Survey finds only 14% of drivers would be comfortable riding in a self-driving vehicle

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2021) – AAA’s latest automated vehicle survey finds more than half --58% -- of drivers want to see Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking and lane assistance, in their next vehicle, with a majority (80%) looking for advancements to these systems. These findings signal that people are open to more sophisticated vehicle technology, which opens the road to boosting public acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

“Consumers will likely have at least one type of ADAS in their next vehicle, and in many cases, this will provide their first interaction with advanced vehicle technology,” said Matt Alfano, Vice President, Mobility Innovation for AAA Northern California. “This experience will influence driver opinion of future vehicle automation and reinforces the need for automakers to improve vehicle technology by expanding testing and focusing on real-world scenarios.”

While Americans’ interest in owning a car with more advanced technology grows, they are still struggling to warm up to the idea of full-vehicle automation. Similar to last year’s results, AAA’s 2021 annual automated vehicle survey found:

  • 14% of drivers would be comfortable riding in a vehicle that drives itself
  • 86% of drivers would be afraid to ride in an automated vehicle

AAA Northern California believes the key to overcoming these fears is with information and education. AAA Northern California’s GoMentum Station provides companies with a closed-course test facility and scenario-based testing services to validate active driving assistance systems and fully autonomous technology.

“It’s critical to educate consumers about the benefits of the technology and where there’s room for improvement,” Alfano said. “With consumer safety in mind, GoMentum is ready to help vehicle manufacturers improve this available technology while paving the way for the future of all mobility.”

About AAA Northern California

AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine's Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at