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Canadians worried, confused about autonomous vehicles

May 27, 2019 

Most Canadians are concerned when it comes to new vehicle technologies that are slowly changing the way we drive, according to CAA research that points to a need for more consumer-friendly information.

“New vehicles today contain some form of connected or automated vehicle technology, whether that’s Bluetooth connectivity, lane assist or another feature,” said Jeff Walker, chief strategy officer at CAA National. “These are the building blocks that will lead to fully autonomous vehicles one day, yet the vast majority of Canadians are not familiar with the technology – and that leads naturally to them having concerns.”

CAA polling shows more than 55 percent of Canadians believe autonomous vehicles have benefits yet even more (61 percent) have concerns about accountability in the event of an accident. Other concerns range from vehicle hacking (59 percent), to the potential for third-party access to driver-generated data (53 percent).

Earlier CAA research has shown the vast majority of drivers (83%) say they have only a vague knowledge of coming autonomous technology.

To keep Canadians informed, CAA today launches a Connected and Autonomous Vehicles tool, an online portal aimed to help Canadians better understand connected and autonomous vehicles.

The tool includes an explanation of the levels of autonomous vehicles, timelines for adoption and the risks of the technology. In the long run, AVs should be a boon for road safety and mobility.

“The transition to autonomous vehicles will likely happen gradually,” Walker said. “In the long run, AVs will save lives since collisions will be much fewer and far between, and they will allow seniors or others with limited mobility the opportunity to regain independence.”

Learn more about connected and autonomous vehicles at caa.ca/autonomous.

The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 2,006 Canadians carried out in December 2018. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

About CAA

CAA is a federation of eight Clubs providing over six million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, please contact:
Kristine D’Arbelles
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
613-796-9404
kdarbelles@national.caa.ca



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