An increasing number of drivers have a fear of automated vehicles, according to a new survey from the AAA.

The organisation has conducted its annual Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Survey which this year showed 68 per cent of motorists were afraid of self-driving cars compared to 55 per cent in 2022.

“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research for AAA. “Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.”

The organisation is calling for automakers to create an environment that promotes the use of more advanced vehicle technologies in a secure, reliable, and educational manner, including being consistent with the naming of vehicle systems available to consumers.

The AAA said there was also a need to dispel confusion around automated vehicles after its survey found that nearly one in ten drivers wrongly believe they can buy a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep.

This perception could stem from misleading or confusing names of vehicle systems that are on the market, said the AAA, after it found that 22 per cent of Americans expect driver support systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself without any supervision, indicating a gap in consumer understanding.

“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,” added Brannon.