Study Finds 88 Percent of Adults Would Be Worried about Riding in a Driverless Car

Online poll survey from Seapine Software shows potential roadblocks for the future of driverless cars

CINCINNATI—Feb. 03 2014 — According to a recent study commissioned by Seapine Software, 88 percent of U.S. adults would be worried about riding in a driverless car. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 2,039 adults ages 18 and older, shows that more than three-fourths (79 percent) of U.S. adults would worry that the equipment in a driverless car will fail, such as a braking software glitch or failed warning sensor that alerts the driver of danger.

"As driverless cars enter the market, car manufacturers face the challenge of managing new technologies, like wheel speed sensors and laser scanners, to ensure quality, safety, and compliance with strict government standards and regulations," said Rick Riccetti, President and CEO, Seapine Software. "This research confirms that consumers likely won’t hand over the wheel until auto companies can prove equipment is safe from software glitches or failures."

The study revealed the following concerns of U.S. adults would have about riding in driverless cars:

  • More than half (59 percent) are worried about liability issues, such as who would be responsible if a driverless car is involved in an accident.
  • 52 percent fear a hacker could breach the driverless car’s system and gain control of the vehicle.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) worry auto companies, insurers, advertisers and municipalities may collect personal data such as where the car goes and how fast it’s traveling.
  • Only 12 percent said they would not be worried about riding in a driverless car.

Men and women were in nearly complete agreement when expressing their concerns. The biggest gap in opinion was over the issue of responsibility with 64 percent of women stating they are worried about liability issues, compared to 54 percent of men.

Age was also not a factor in changing U.S. adults' apprehensions, as 93 percent of adults 65 and older adults said they would be worried about riding in a driverless car, while 84 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds say the same.

"To meet these challenges, auto companies must implement suitable methods and measures for software development to manage quality and mitigate risk," added Riccetti.

This survey was conducted within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Seapine Software from January 24-28, 2014 among 2,039 adults ages 18 and over. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Christina Alvarez at

About Seapine Software
Seapine Software, Inc. is a privately held technology company whose application lifecycle management (ALM) solutions help companies manage the process of developing high-quality complex products—often in regulated industries. Our award-winning ALM solutions drive the creation of recognized brands, life-saving medical devices, even games of the year.

Founded in 1995, Seapine has headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa with over 8,500 customers worldwide. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Sarah Carefoot
Director, Corporate Communications
(513) 754-1655

Complete the following form to get in touch.