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For the study , the ZEK interviewed 500 adults from all over Germany online at the Ravensburg Cooperative University as well as 239 people in Friedrichshafen, where an automated driving test field is in operation. Whereas in February 2018 only 28% of all respondents felt that automobile manufacturers should actively invest in autonomous driving, by March 2019 the figure had risen to 41%. The figure was even higher (50%) for respondents in Friedrichshafen. The anticipated advantages, such as more mobility for people with physical impairments, generally balanced out the feared disadvantages, such as the fear of manipulation. For 53% of respondents throughout Germany, the thought of autonomous cars is still accompanied by an unpleasant feeling, while for 47% it triggers positive emotions. The feeling of uneasiness tends to increase with age. ZEK Director Prof. Dr. Simon Ottler thus finds it important that “the advantages of autonomous driving be more clearly communicated to the respective target groups.”

An international study on autonomous driving conducted by the Capgemini Research Institute had only recently classified Germans as particularly skeptical in this regard.