67% of Business Leaders Trust AI to Drive Their Company Vehicles

Tech.co's exclusive survey also finds 70% believe AI-powered vehicles "are safe for company vehicle use."

Two out of three (67%) of business leaders in a recent Tech.co survey said that they would trust AI technology to drive their company vehicles.

In addition, half of respondents (50%) said that they were actively “considering replacing” their current human-driven company vehicles with AI-powered self-driving vehicles.

Commercial fleets in the US are still waiting on AI to be fully functioning, and face legal concerns surrounding the issue as well. However, as these exclusive survey results show, the majority of business managers are more than willing to embrace self-driving vehicles.

70% of Business Leaders Say Self-Driving Vehicles Are Safe for Company Use

Tech.co’s survey found that the typical business leader trusts in the AI behind self-driving vehicles, and is willing to put their company where their mouth is: 70% of them say they believe think AI-powered vehicles “are safe for company vehicle use.”

However, given that 67% of respondents said that they’d be fine with self-driving vehicles in their fleets, it’s worth noting the lower percentages of positive responses to questions about actively replacing their human drivers with AI: Just 50% of those who answered our survey say that they are considering replacing human drivers with AI, leaving a remaining 50% who either answered that they are not considering this or who chose not to answer.

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Granted, that’s half of them, so it’s not a minority, but that does leave a gap between those 50% and the 67% that are thinking about investing in AI. Those who say they won’t replace humans but will add AI may be interested in expanding their fleet using AI, while retaining all their current drivers for their older, human-driven vehicle models.

Indeed, another survey question confirmed that expanding companies are a lot more likely to pick AI over humans: 67% of survey respondents said they would consider AI-powered self-driving vehicles for transport goods over hiring human drivers.

Most Business Leaders Say AI Is the Future, Boosts Efficiency

Why switch to self-driving cars? Boosting efficiency is a big reason: 70% of business leaders believe self-driving company vehicles could complete business transportation tasks more efficiently than human drivers can.

That makes sense, as an artificial intelligence that can drive a vehicle won’t suffer from the same needs as a human driver, from low visibility during nighttime driving to legally mandated time off of work to nap at a rest stop.

Plus, AI is simply the wave of the future — at least according to the 73% of respondents who say they believe self-driving company vehicles will grow in popularity over the next five years.

They Agree on One Thing: 83% Say AI Needs Regulation

Better efficiency can’t cut corners when it comes to roadside safety, and the large majority of business leaders we polled at Tech.co agreed on this point: 83% of them held that “clear AI regulation” needs to be established for AI-powered company vehicles.

Lawmakers are already hammering out the regulations surrounding the use of self-driving commercial fleets on public roads. Most recently, a bill passed the California Senate this month to require the presence of a human safety operator for each self-driving truck operating in the state. That’s effectively a ban on self-driving trucks across the nation’s most populated state, although this bill was later vetoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Granted, some AI use is far from a new development for fleet managers. All of the best route planning software uses some form of AI to power routing, dispatch, and in-the-moment route optimization, using the latest traffic or weather data to adjust the map directions that human drivers rely on.

We have yet to see if full automation can arrive for fleets across the US, but this survey makes one development clear: If self-driving trucks do reach the market, the majority of business leaders will be ready and waiting with open checkbooks.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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