Drivers aren't ready to give up control just yet

Though technology for self-driving cars is quickly being developed, a new survey has found that most people want the industry to pump the brakes on production, or instead roll out vehicles that aren't fully autonomous.

The survey of 505 people, conducted by SurveyMonkey and the University of Michigan, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent and comes as the school prepares to open M City, a research center where autonomous-drive vehicle technology will be tested and developed.

Google's Lexus RX 450H Self Driving Car
Getty Images

According to the results, 43.8 percent of respondents have no interest in self-driving cars, while 40.6 percent said they prefer models with partial autonomous-drive technology. Just 15.6 percent of those questioned said they would prefer a completely self-driving car.

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Though this snapshot did not address exactly why so many are people opposed to the technology, it's clear that those questioned are concerned about being in a vehicle in which they have no control.

Among those surveyed, 35 percent said they would be very concerned riding in a fully autonomous-drive vehicle. When asked about riding in a partially self-driving vehicle, however, the amount of people who said they would be very concerned dropped to 14 percent.

That desire to feel in control helps explain why 96.2 percent of those surveyed said they want fully autonomous-drive vehicles to have a steering wheel, as well as gas and brake pedals.

Driverless car speed bump
Driverless car speed bump

The study's results come about one month after a NerdWallet survey found that women, in particular, are concerned about the safety of autonomous cars.

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For now, even self-driving prototypes have steering wheels and pedals. Google, which is currently test-driving autonomous-drive vehicles in Mountain View, California, and Austin, Texas, has controls in the cars it's testing, along with employees who are ready to take control if a problem arises.

Several other automakers and tech companies are researching and developing autonomous-drive vehicles and technology. Among these firms are Tesla, which in a matter of weeks will start pushing auto pilot software to Model S vehicles that are on the road. The technology will assist drivers in certain conditions, but also require them to stay engaged behind the wheel.

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