UK study: Autonomous cars spur positive feelings from consumers

By Jonathan Hassell

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According to a report in CIO, nearly 60 percent of people surveyed believe their lives will get better as autonomous cars become more available and popular in daily life. This demonstrates that consumers value the reduction in active driving more than any privacy or connectivity trade-offs.

The survey’s respondents claimed the top five benefits of having autonomous cars are the reduced stress of driving, the ability to rest on longer journeys, fewer accidents, lower insurance costs and the ability to be spontaneous with one’s travel — the latter being especially important to survey respondents with disabilities.

The study, which was commissioned by the UK-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, was released by Strategy Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers. It researched the opinions of three different cohorts: drivers between the ages of 17 and 24, people with disabilities and drivers aged 65 and older.

The optimism is strong even as researchers conclude that entirely autonomous vehicles are unlikely to be ready for mass consumption until 2025. Even with eight years to go before projected availability, 56 percent of overall survey respondents said they felt positive about autonomous cars.

“A likely explanation for this positivity is a combination of this section among society having the greatest mobility needs, as well as the greater acceptance of young people of technology,” according to CIO. “Seventy-five percent of these respondents said they trusted technology to some extent or to a great extent.”

The report also concluded that drivers aged 17 to 24 are most familiar with the technology and capabilities of autonomous cars and that consumers with disabilities are most excited about the possibility of owning an autonomous car.

Privacy was not a huge concern, according to the report. Less than a quarter of the 17–24 demographic stated loss of privacy as a concern, and just 15 percent of respondents 65 and older quoted privacy as a concern.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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