Autonomous Cars Nissan autonomous car

Published on November 11th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro


Most Drivers Would Opt For Self-Driving Cars

Nissan autonomous carATMs have replaced bank tellers, Netflix helped kill brick-and-mortar movie rental, and now autonomous cars threaten to deplete the ranks of drivers everywhere. A new study shows that 90% of Americans would buy an autonomous car if it meant a big discount on their insurance, and 20% would opt to never drive again. Say what?

It’s a condition of our culture of convenience, where driving has become synonymous with commuting, and even the most devoted gearhead would lose their shit after sitting in the same traffic jam for the umptenth time. Autonomous cars could give us back some of the freedom commuting has taken from driving, allowing us to focus on other things rather than inching forward a few inches every couple of minutes.

The study, conducted by, surveyed some 2,000 drivers and found that 90% of licensed drivers would buy an autonomous car if it meant an 80% discount on their insurance. Another 20% would gladly turn over their car keys entirely, forgoing their the option to drive at all, and instead travel via self-propelled autonomous pod thing. How dreary and dystopian.

It’s hard to imagine, though on the same token these are probably the same people who spend entirely too much time stuck in traffic. Hopefully these are many of the same people who are awful drivers, and in that case I’d be more than happy to have them turn control over to a computer. But could the day come when self-driving cars are mandatory? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.


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About the Author

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. When he isn't wrenching or writing, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Jason Carpp

    Would they? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t mind having a car help me to avoid an accident without my input, but that’s about it.

  • topkill

    Not me, I LOVE driving. I’ll be happily driving (my manual transmission) until they pry that steering wheel and that stick shift from my cold dead fingers!!! LOL

  • UKGary

    Autonomous cars could see the end of the car owning phase – why own an autonomous car when you can just call one to fetch you when you need it – a variant of the car club model?

    How many of us regularly drive more than a couple of hours a day? That being the case, why not have someone else use the vehicle when you are not using it?Autonomous electric cars capable of charging themselves when not in service could be an excellent fit for this autonomous car club model – dramatically cutting car numbers whilst providing all the services cars currently deliver.

    Less cars = less car parking space needed and less congestion

  • Bob_Wallace

    After most of a lifetime of loving to drive I can feel the reflexes slowing. I’ll be ready to let my car do the driving in another ten years or so. A self-driving car may let me stay in my house and avoid moving to a city for several extra years.

    And I’ll be pretty much no one drives in stop and go commute stuff once they have the option to let it go.

    And imagine driving one of our scenic highways and actually getting to enjoy the scenery….

    • Bobby

      Yes but what about the cost of that?, Never mind what it would cost to repair if it goes wrong.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The initial cost should be a few sensors (radar is pretty cheap) and a CPU. Repairs, electronics hold up pretty well.

        Insurance premium savings should easily cover the cost.

        Think of all the drunks that could just pass out and let the car haul them home. The last one that hit me racked up a few hundred thou in expenses for his insurance company.

        Give the car the smarts to take over when the driver is screwing up.

        • Kemp

          Solar flares can cause the car electronics to stop working, give me an old diesel motor any day .

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve been driving for almost 60 years. Let count the number of times that’s happened to me.


            OK, let me count the times I’ve ever heard of it happening to anyone else.

            Well, that didn’t use a lot of fingers. Let’s see how many incidences I can find on line.


          • Bill
          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, Bill, I am aware of the very low risk that solar flares could mess up our electronics.

            Be sure to stock a lot of fuel for your diesel. The pumps at your service station won’t be working.

          • Bill

            Yes but solar power will not flow to your EV so your battery will be flat, but my diesel will be running strong and well.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Making grand plans on the expectation that a very low probability event will happen is foolish.

          • Jo Borras

            Ooh … “The Examiner”! LOOOOLOLOLOL

          • Jo Borras

            You realize most diesels built in the last twenty years have the same weakness, right? Electronics are electronics, whether they’re steering or injecting fuel. LOL!

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  • hugoalves

    And what about this: Zero insurance for Autonomous cars and a very high cost for cars that are not autonomous. Also, you need to have specific roads that are “Autonomous car only” and others that are “hibrid” roads. All cars need to have the “Autonomous driving” option to allow them to use all roads but they can only get into “Autonomous drive” roads while driving in Autonomous mode. I believe that would cover most of the situations. Those that want to drive can still do it, but with restrictions regarding where they can do it (you cannot put your personal pleasure about the safety of the community). And those that can have a more relaxed and safe commute can do it by using Autonomous roads only.

    • Jo Borras

      Why would you need to double up on the roads? I don’t follow that AT ALL. I like the added insurance for the human drivers, though. Smart.

      • hugoalves

        I’m sorry, but where did you read “double up on the roads”?
        In between most destinations you already have more than one road (unless it’s in the middle of nowhere). What I was saying is to put the most used one as “autonomous only”, and the others could be “hybrid”. There is no need to build new roads, but we souldn’t forbid those that still want to drive from doing so. This option is a way to achieve that.

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