By Steve Cyra, HNTB

According to a recent HNTB THINK national public opinion survey, more than half of Americans (52 percent) believe they are familiar with or knowledgeable about autonomous vehicles (AVs). “As we become more knowledgeable about, and comfortable with, autonomous vehicles, people will begin to recognize and value the economic and social benefits offered by these technologies,” says Jim Barbaresso, HNTB’s Intelligent Transportation Systems National Practice Leader and SVP. “For example, people who are disabled or elderly and unable to drive themselves, will experience the freedom and convenience of mobility. Autonomous vehicles will help improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles. And they offer the promise of more effective management of roadway congestion.”

The HNTB survey also indicates a vast majority of survey respondents (91 percent) feel that a person needs to be in the AV to override the automation in case of an emergency. 63 percent noted privacy concerns associated with AV generated data.

Barbaresso adds, “There are continuing concerns about how the immense amounts of data produced by autonomous vehicles will be managed, by whom, and the potential impacts that this could have not only on privacy but the ability to insure the safe operation of these vehicles altogether.”

Of the other major concerns over AV implementation, those surveyed indicated collision liability and cybersecurity/potential to hack a vehicle (56 and 53 percent respectively). Barbaresso concludes, “It really comes down to trust – does the public trust automated vehicle technologies? The level of trust will likely increase as the technologies supporting automated driving become more mature and commonplace.”

Please see the following pages for the recent HNTB THINK article referenced above.

America THINKS: Sharing the Road with Autonomous Vehicles – 2019

Approximately half of Americans now believe they are familiar with autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. As that awareness grows, acceptance of these emerging technologies also increases. As HNTB’s latest America THINKS national public opinion survey demonstrates, among the 52 percent of Americans surveyed who believe they are knowledgeable or familiar with autonomous vehicles, almost six in ten (58 percent) believe they will be commonplace within the next 10 years.

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HNTB’s America THINKS survey, Sharing the Road with Autonomous Vehicles-2019, polled a random nationwide sample of 1,018 Americans, ages 18 and older, between April 5 and April 8, 2019. Quotas were set to ensure reliable representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent. For more information, visit or contact David Fridling (917) 438-0900;

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