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Concerned about self-driving cars? You're not alone

Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Philip Le, 48, of Washington Township, Mich., does not share that enthusiasm.

Le, who was walking past a display for a self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid at the auto show, was not convinced such vehicles will make driving safer, in part, he said, because humans react faster than machines when it comes to driving.

"For me, I think it's just dangerous," Le said.

That Fusion, according to staff answering questions about the display, was used by Ford to test reactions to having a self-driving car deliver Domino's Pizza last year in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Monique Dotson, 53, of Westland, Mich., looked at the display and described it as the future. But she is not completely sold on the idea.

The potential use of driverless cars on public roads raises many questions, such as how they react in ice snow, and creates a "heightened level of anxiety," she said, before noting her unease at the prospect of riding in one.

"It's almost like you sit in there with a blindfold on because you don't know what's going to happen," Dotson said.

Dotson's 14-year-old son, Trevor, is less concerned about the potential for problems, and assumes the technology will be perfected in six or seven years.


He's excited about the prospect of driverless cars, but he's more focused on something that he expects to begin later this year -- the process of getting his driver's license.

Back at the Cadillac display, Joi Sessor, 50, of Detroit weighed her feelings about driverless cars and decided she prefers to do her own driving. She said she worries about cybersecurity and the potential for hackers to cause problems. She recalled the notorious 2015 hacking of a Jeep Cherokee that left the vehicle crawling along a highway in the St. Louis area as traffic zoomed by.

"I'm still nervous. (I'm) not ready to relinquish control," she said. "I don't trust the security of the technology."

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