Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have tremendous potential to make travel safer, enhance worker productivity, increase transportation efficiency, improve our economy, and increase mobility for the elderly. Policy governing AVs must capitalize on the opportunities of this technology, promoting coordination in legislation, and supporting innovation and market competition. Do voters agree?

Ask your senator to support the AV Start Act

3 in 5 voters favor one federal standard for rules governing the use of AVs on American roads

Which of the following comes closest to your view, even if neither is exactly right?

States should create their own laws governing the safety and use of autonomous vehicles

  • 28%

There should be one federal standard governing the safety and use of autonomous vehicles

  • 57%

Don't know / no opinion

  • 15%
States should create their own laws governing the safety and use of autonomous vehicles
There should be one federal standard governing the safety and use of autonomous vehicles
Don't know / no opinion

Registered Voters

  • 28%
  • 57%
  • 15%

Gender: Male

  • 32%
  • 58%
  • 10%

Gender: Female

  • 25%
  • 56%
  • 19%

Age: 18-29

  • 37%
  • 48%
  • 15%

Age: 30-44

  • 32%
  • 56%
  • 12%

Age: 45-54

  • 28%
  • 53%
  • 18%

Age: 55-64

  • 25%
  • 66%
  • 9%

Age: 65+

  • 19%
  • 63%
  • 17%

PID: Dem (no lean)

  • 24%
  • 63%
  • 13%

PID: Ind (no lean)

  • 28%
  • 54%
  • 17%

PID: Rep (no lean)

  • 32%
  • 55%
  • 13%

And, they overwhelmingly recognize policy related AV technology as a bipartisan issue

Who should take the lead when it comes to laws governing the safety and use of autonomous vehicles?

Republicans

  • 9%

Democrats

  • 11%

Both parties should work together

  • 72%

Don't know / no opinion

  • 9%

Messages in promotion of one federal standard are seen as most impactful...compared to those which advocate for state autonomy

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements:

Strongly agree
Somewhat agree
Somewhat disagree
Strongly disagree
Don't know / no opinion

A federal standard will ensure a consistent safety standard as more companies develop their own technology

  • 36%
  • 34%
  • 9%
  • 4%
  • 17%

Drug labeling, cell phone regulations, and financial market regulations all abide under a federal standard due to coordination problems between states. Rules governing AVs should be no different

  • 35%
  • 33%
  • 10%
  • 4%
  • 18%

A federal standard will help clarify the roles and responsibilities of the federal and state governments when it comes to self-driving cars

  • 33%
  • 36%
  • 9%
  • 4%
  • 18%

A federal standard for AVs will allow for better public-private sector information sharing regarding emerging technology

  • 30%
  • 36%
  • 9%
  • 5%
  • 21%

If each state has different law governing the safety and use of AVs, interstate commerce related to emerging technologies and deployment will be harmed

  • 24%
  • 35%
  • 14%
  • 6%
  • 21%

...Compared to those which advocate for state autonomy

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements:

Strongly agree
Somewhat agree
Somewhat disagree
Strongly disagree
Don't know / no opinion

If companies are focused on adhering to different regulations state by state, the U.S. will fall behind in the invention, testing and deployment of AVs

  • 24%
  • 34%
  • 13%
  • 7%
  • 22%

Manufacturers wouldn't create multiple variations of AVs in order to meet different state standards… they would just adapt to the biggest market and sut out entire state economies

  • 21%
  • 29%
  • 17%
  • 9%
  • 24%

States understand the unique characteristics of their weather and their infrastructure capabilities, and are best equipped to create laws governing AVs

  • 19%
  • 37%
  • 18%
  • 8%
  • 18%

States know the unique transportation needs for their residents and are best-equipped to create laws governing AVs

  • 19%
  • 34%
  • 21%
  • 9%
  • 18%

States should have the right to create their own laws regarding the AVs operating on their own roads

  • 18%
  • 29%
  • 23%
  • 12%
  • 17%

Plurality of voters (44%) initially support the use of AVs on American roads

As you may know, autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving cars, are predicted to be available to consumers in the next few years. Generally speaking, do you support or oppose the use of autonomous vehicles on American roads?

12%
Strongly support
32%
Somewhat support
25%
Somewhat oppose
17%
Strongly oppose
14%
Don't know / no opinion
Strongly support
Somewhat support
Somewhat oppose
Strongly oppose
Don't know / no opinion

Registered Voters

  • 12%
  • 32%
  • 25%
  • 17%
  • 14%

Gender: Male

  • 18%
  • 38%
  • 21%
  • 14%
  • 10%

Gender: Female

  • 8%
  • 27%
  • 28%
  • 19%
  • 18%

Age: 18-29

  • 17%
  • 40%
  • 24%
  • 8%
  • 11%

Age: 30-44

  • 21%
  • 36%
  • 18%
  • 12%
  • 12%

Age: 45-54

  • 9%
  • 30%
  • 27%
  • 19%
  • 15%

Age: 55-64

  • 7%
  • 32%
  • 23%
  • 21%
  • 18%

Age: 65+

  • 6%
  • 24%
  • 32%
  • 23%
  • 16%

PID: Dem (no lean)

  • 12%
  • 35%
  • 26%
  • 12%
  • 15%

PID: Ind (no lean)

  • 12%
  • 33%
  • 23%
  • 15%
  • 16%

PID: Rep (no lean)

  • 13%
  • 28%
  • 25%
  • 22%
  • 12%

Messages on the potential of AVs to increase road safety most convince voters to support their use

If you knew each of the following, would that make you more likely to support or more likely to oppose the use of autonomous vehicles on American roads, or would it not change your mind either way?

Much more likely to support autonomous vehicles
Somewhat more likely to support autonomous vehicles
Somewhat more likely to oppose autonomous vehicles
Much more likely to oppose autonomous vehicles
Whould not change my mind either way
Don't know / no opinion

A recent report says autonomous vehicles could reduce traffic fatalities by up to ninety percent

  • 30%
  • 34%
  • 7%
  • 5%
  • 14%
  • 11%

Over eighty percent of car accidents are a result of human error

  • 23%
  • 34%
  • 9%
  • 5%
  • 19%
  • 11%

There are 38,000 traffic fatalities per year in the U.S., many of which are due to human error

  • 23%
  • 34%
  • 9%
  • 6%
  • 18%
  • 11%

There are no opportunities for a computer to be "distracted," which is a leading cause of accidents in the United States at present

  • 22%
  • 34%
  • 9%
  • 6%
  • 17%
  • 12%

Many cars are already equipped with features in the first stage of "automatic driving, such as autonomous braking and self-parking

  • 18%
  • 34%
  • 10%
  • 5%
  • 21%
  • 12%

Autonomous vehicles may not be able to operate at a high level of safety in all weather conditions

  • 10%
  • 12%
  • 25%
  • 31%
  • 11%
  • 10%

If road technology fails, such as traffic signals that autonomous vehicles rely on, there's no accounting for human traffic signals

  • 9%
  • 13%
  • 24%
  • 27%
  • 13%
  • 14%

And, they also recognize their ability to increase mobility for elderly and disabled Americans

Do you believe autonomous vehicles would have a positive impact, a negative impact, or not much impact either way on each of the following issues?

Autonomous vehicles would have a positive impact on this issue
Autonomous vehicles would have a negative impact on this issue
Autonomous vehicles would not have much impact either way
Don't know / no opinion

Disabled Americans with limited mobility

  • 65%
  • 10%
  • 10%
  • 15%

Elderly Americans with reduced driving capabilities

  • 63%
  • 11%
  • 11%
  • 15%

Distracted driving

  • 61%
  • 13%
  • 11%
  • 15%

Elderly or disabled Americans with no means of picking up prescription medications

  • 59%
  • 10%
  • 14%
  • 17%

Drunk driving

  • 59%
  • 13%
  • 11%
  • 17%

Inexperienced teen driving

  • 50%
  • 17%
  • 16%
  • 17%

Individuals looking for alternatives to flying

  • 40%
  • 10%
  • 29%
  • 22%

The convenience of family travel

  • 37%
  • 10%
  • 29%
  • 21%

The expense of family travel

  • 27%
  • 15%
  • 33%
  • 25%

Once voters are more aware of the impact of AVs, support for their use increases by 15-point margin

Now having thought about this more, do you support or oppose the use of autonomous vehicles on American roads?

18%
Strongly support
40%
Somewhat support
18%
Somewhat oppose
12%
Strongly oppose
11%
Don't know / no opinion
Strongly support
Somewhat support
Somewhat oppose
Strongly oppose
Don't know / no opinion

Registered Voters

  • 18%
  • 40%
  • 18%
  • 12%
  • 11%

Gender: Male

  • 25%
  • 40%
  • 17%
  • 11%
  • 8%

Gender: Female

  • 13%
  • 40%
  • 20%
  • 14%
  • 13%

Age: 18-29

  • 25%
  • 46%
  • 14%
  • 6%
  • 10%

Age: 30-44

  • 27%
  • 41%
  • 16%
  • 7%
  • 9%

Age: 45-54

  • 16%
  • 39%
  • 17%
  • 18%
  • 10%

Age: 55-64

  • 13%
  • 42%
  • 19%
  • 16%
  • 11%

Age: 65+

  • 10%
  • 34%
  • 26%
  • 16%
  • 14%

PID: Dem (no lean)

  • 21%
  • 40%
  • 19%
  • 10%
  • 11%

PID: Ind (no lean)

  • 17%
  • 42%
  • 17%
  • 11%
  • 13%

PID: Rep (no lean)

  • 17%
  • 38%
  • 20%
  • 16%
  • 9%