Adults are hardly clamoring for self-driving cars and now it turns out that the generation behind them isn’t either.
The majority of American youths, most of whom are still too young to drive, would rather do the driving themselves, when the time comes.
And the closer they get to driving age, the more they want to control the vehicle themselves, based on a new study.
The majority (63%) of youngsters would prefer to do the driving rather than letting the vehicle handle the task, according to the survey of 1,100 U.S. youths aged 8 to 18 conducted by Harris Poll for Nielsen.
And the older a person gets, the more they want to drive themselves. Here’s the breakdown of preferences for a vehicle that the person can control themselves:
And as they start to get behind the wheel legally, most (77%) current youth drivers prefer to do the driving themselves.
This is not to say that youngsters don’t appreciate the idea of self-driving cars. The majority of all ages in the study see self-driving cars as something only rich people can afford. But 43% of elementary and middle school studies see them as ‘insanely cool.’
Where the self-driving car comes from almost makes no difference to youngsters, with 76% interested in them coming from a vehicle manufacturer and 70% from a technology company, such as Apple, Google or Microsoft.
Youngsters are not alone in their view of autonomous driving. A recent study by Kelley Blue Book found that most adults don’t expect to ever own a driverless car, as I wrote about here at the time (Driverless Cars: Majority Don’t Believe They Will Ever Own One; 60% Millennials).
At least the majority (57%) of young Americans are aware of self-driving cars.
As you might expect, the higher the age, the higher the awareness. For example, 40% of elementary school aged youths are aware, 53% of those in middle school age and 70% of those in grades 9 to 12.
It looks like marketing will reside somewhere between awareness and adoption.
There may be a lot of space there.