CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As self-driving vehicles become more of a reality in the near future, there is also a rise in residents afraid of this new technology.

According to AAA’s latest survey, there was a major increase this year in people afraid of self-driving vehicles, a total of 68 percent of people surveyed compared to 55 percent in 2022. The 13 percent increase from last year’s survey is one of the largest jumps since 2020.

“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.”

Although the technology is getting better each year, the survey shows that improvements are still needed to build public trust in the technology. AAA says there are also a lot of rumors that drive fear in people. For example, the survey found that one in ten drivers think they can buy a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep. However, there is no such vehicle available to purchase. AAA hopes to help clear the confusion with information they have provided on their website.

However, drivers aren’t opposed to all advanced vehicle technology. Six in ten U.S. drivers are in favor of technology for blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

You may have seen vehicles being tested for self-driving with no human in the driver seat but those vehicles are not yet available for purchase by consumers.

“AAA seeks to partner with automakers to create greater consistency across the industry. Together, we can help consumers understand the type of technology their vehicle has along with how, when and where to use these systems, which will ultimately build trust in the vehicles of the future,” said Ms. Maguire.