More than half of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with self-driving vehicle technology and would be unlikely to use it on a daily basis (though younger Americans are more positive).

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Data: Northeastern University/Gallup survey conducted Sept. 15-Oct. 10, 2017; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Many automakers — ranging from the largest car companies to newer entrants like Waymo and Tesla — are making big bets on autonomous driving technology, which is also expected to help drive the expansion of electric vehicles. Public hesitation could hamper widespread commercial deployment of both technologies in the years and decades ahead.

The Northeastern University/Gallup survey from last year and released today finds that 59 percent of respondents said they would be uncomfortable riding in a fully self-driving car on a daily basis, and 62 percent said they would be uncomfortable sharing the road with fully self-driving trucks.

Yes, but: The pollsters said Americans may be underestimating their willingness to adopt the emerging autonomous technology. Their analysis notes that in a Gallup survey in 2000, almost a quarter of adults said they would never get a cell phone, but that technology is obviously ubiquitous now.

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