Global Opinion Divided On Self-Driving Cars

This chart shows the share in favor, unsure about and against self-driving cars in selected countries in 2018.

Autonomous driving has come into sharp focus after two fatal accidents involving the technology occurred in the United States last month. The first involved a pedestrian getting struck and killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle while the second invovled a Tesla Model X on autopilot striking a highway divider before bursting into flames. Ipsos carried out a major study into thoughts about self-driving cars just before those two accidents, finding that favorability about them is highest in the developing world. 

Respondents in India are particularly keen on self-driving cars with 49 percent of those polled saying they are in favor of them and can't wait to use them. A further 46 percent said they are unsure about them but find the idea interesting while 5 percent would never use them. China saw similar levels of optimism while in Russia, 33 percent were in favor while 59 percent were unsure. 

In South America, three in 10 Brazilian respondents cannot wait to get chauffered around in a self-driving car while six in ten remain unsure but interesting. In the U.S., skepticism was already high before the two accidents occurred. A quarter of people there would never try autonomous driving technoogy while 54 percent said they are unsure but interested. 22 percent say they are in favor and can't wait for a test drive, considerably less than in India.

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