How much extra would you be willing to pay for a car that could drive itself? One-fifth…

How much extra would you be willing to pay for a car that could drive itself? One-fifth of people in a JD Power survey said they would spend $3,000 more for the capability.

Frankly that price is well within reach in the next 5-7 years. Consider that a number of cars on the road today already have most of the hardware bits necessary to enable at least semi-autonomous driving.

We've been migrating in this direction since at least the early-1980s with the advent of anti-lock braking. ABS intervenes between the driver and the road, using wheel speed sensors to decide when the brake pressure the driver is applying should be reduced at individual wheels in order to help maintain control of the car.

Over time that capability expanded traction and stability control and more recently adaptive cruise control and lane departure prevention.

Autonomous vehicles are about more than just convenience though. The ability for vehicles to talk to each other and the infrastructure and get real-time data about what is happening beyond the sight-lines of the driver opens up enormous possibilities for reducing accidents, congestion and energy consumption.

I still love to drive, but on my daily 25 mile commute to the office, I would take autonomous capability if it was available.

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One in five drivers would spend $3,000 to add self-driving to their next car
Judging from what Google has been saying to automakers, self-driving cars are still millions of test miles away from actually making it to showrooms, but survey results indicate some American drivers….

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