Study Shows People Don't Trust Uber or Lyft for Developing Self-Driving Tech

Waymo's self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 1 photo
Photo: Waymo
Uber or Lyft may be the first names most people think of when in need of a ride somewhere, but being able to set up a network of drivers doesn't say anything about your abilities for something as intricate and different as building a self-driving system.
That's probably the thought process that went through the minds of the 5,054 drivers that took part in Inrix's recent survey on autonomous driving technology. The connected car service company wanted to find out which of the numerous companies currently striving to come up with the best AI driver are the most trustworthy to the public.

Unsurprisingly, it was the traditional carmakers and the tech giants such as Google that came out as favorites, with ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft meeting a very small number of the votes.

The respondents came from the U.S. as well as four of the main European countries: France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Almost a third of them agreed that the established carmakers are the best option for building self-driving cars, while 20 percent opted in favor of tech giants such as Google (through its Waymo subsidiary).

Only four percent said they trusted ride-hailing services with the task, and given Uber's record on the matter, it's easy to see why. The company started testing its Volvo XC90 SUVs in California late late year without having a permit, and only a few hours later one of its vehicles was seen (and filmed) as it ran a red light, nearly hitting a pedestrian as it did so.

Tesla wasn't exactly a favorite among those interviewed despite the company's claims of being a leader in the field and racking up autonomous miles by the millions each month thanks to its generous fleet of customer-owned test vehicles. It would appear all newish companies don't yet have the reputation needed for people to offer them their trust on a subject so sensitive as self-driving cars.

The study brought forward by Automotive News also revealed a difference in the way age groups welcome the possibility of self-driving vehicles. It's no surprise that those over 60-years-old aren't particularly keen on handing over the controls of their vehicles to an AI, while those around 30 were much more open to the idea.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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