Uber Update: Consumers More Fearful of Self-Driving Cars

A woman scrolls through the Uber phone app Image Credit: Pexels

Just before Uber launched its first fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh a few months back, we found out if consumers were prepared for this futuristic technology. Here is a quick recap of those topline results: Many people would not feel safe in Uber's self-driving cars.

As you can see, there were many skeptics. We dug in much deeper to find out who was ready to take the leap into the future, who was not, and how Uber could win over the wary. 

Several months and many self-driving cars later, we found out if consumers would feel any more safe now that Uber’s self-driving cars are on the road.

As it turns out – not really. Take a look: 69% of people would not feel safe in a self-driving car, which has increased since August.

In mid-August, only 64% of adults said they would not feel safe in a self-driving car, even if there were someone at the wheel. In the last few months, that number has jumped to 69%.

Could this be due to recent reports of Uber’s new cars getting into accidents? Are consumers more scared now that the cars are on the streets than when the cars were just an idea? It seems possible. If people don’t feel safe, customers may make the switch to another ride-sharing platform, like Lyft. In fact, when asked in April, roughly half of Uber customers said they would consider switching from Uber to Lyft.

So, could the very simple feelings of comfort and safety, instead of innovative technology, be the key to the winning ride-sharing app? Possibly. To calm fears and misunderstanding of the new technology, Uber may want to highlight the new self-driving cars’ safety features, and clarify the details surrounding accidents where its cars were involved. 


Interested in other insights? Check out our latest Ebook on our top consumer technology findings of 2016!

Originally published on in Consumer Technology