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U.S. Drivers Skeptical, but Ready for Self-Driving Cars: Survey

Most of us are ready to hand over control to self-driving vehicles, as long as we maintain a bit of control, a survey finds. According to a new study by comparison-shopping website Insurance.com, three-quarters of licensed U.S. drivers would be very likely to consider, if not buy, self-driving vehicles. If they were offered lower insurance rates, that figure jumps to 86 percent. "People are aware that they already drive cars controlled partly by computers," said Des Toups, managing editor at Insurance.com. Still, respondents were a little skeptical. Nearly 60 percent of the 2,000 licensed drivers surveyed said they didn't believe an autonomous vehicle's computer system could match the decision-making of a human driver. Seventy-five percent said they'd be hesitant to let a fully driverless car take their children to school. Most manufacturers continue to emphasize either semi-autonomous driving, or let the driver take control if there's a technical glitch. But Google plans to roll out prototype vehicles that won't have a steering wheel or pedals, only an emergency shut-off button.

Take a test run in Mercedes-Benz driverless car 5:18

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-Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau