While the automotive industry is projecting fully autonomous (Level 5) cars by 2021, consumers still may be wary. Mass adoption will occur, but through measured baby steps rather than overnight as the industry often makes it seem.

While the idea of full autonomy is cool, a survey from AAA found 75% of U.S. drivers are afraid of relinquishing total control of a 2-ton vehicle to coding.

Automakers will first point to enhanced safety, and cars equipped today with partial autonomous features like ABS, lane assist and park assist can provide better experience and safety advantages. The AAA survey also found safety to be the strongest motivation for adoption (84%), particularly among Baby Boomers.

Yet, consumers will continue to adopt first with their wallets. Safety and other technological advantages of driverless cars will need to translate into economic benefit rather than additional cost of the vehicle. That means automakers will need to leverage vehicle data. Enabling autonomous vehicles to improve insurance and maintenance costs, and driving efficiency through telematics, will be a better way to drive adoption.

Our cities will get smarter too, leveraging smart sensors, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, making urban transportation smarter, safer and more cost-efficient by managing the flow the traffic.

But perhaps one of the most important influencers in adoption may come through ride-sharing companies. Two factors are at play here: First, ride-sharing companies already are leading the way in autonomous-driving technologies. Offering autonomous rides as part of their on-demand ride-hailing service gives consumers the unique opportunity to “try before you buy.” Consumers’ comfort level will rise faster, free from the initial worries of ownership.

Consumers also are changing their attitudes toward mobility, as pay-per-use mobility is becoming a preferred model for millennials and other younger generations vs. owning a vehicle. Nearly 50% of millennials like using a smartphone app for transport and already plan travel in ways that let them multitask.

I predict most consumers will be able to satisfy their curiosity through these driverless ride-sharing vehicles, form educated opinions on whether the technology is suitable for them and gradually become more familiar and at ease with autonomous technology.

Autonomous car-sharing programs also will become part of a future trend toward integrated mobility. Rather than piecing together itineraries and selecting vehicles, consumers will turn to full-service mobility providers for seamless, on-demand journeys that integrate all modes of transport. Just be ready to board and the cloud will take care of the rest.

Driverless ride-sharing will enable consumers to experience firsthand the ease, safety and convenience of autonomous vehicles. So when it comes time to buy their next car, or embrace pay-per-use models, they’ll be much more informed, comfortable and even eager to join the driverless society.

Pavan Mathew is Director of Automotive Business Development at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.