Younger internet users are more open to the prospect of having self-driving cars on the road, whereas older internet users are more conservative.
This is likely linked to another finding from the survey. We also asked about why consumers would be concerned or excited about self-driving cars on the road. The biggest concerns across age groups were safety factors, with hacking and unexpected situations (like weather) the biggest threats cited.
But there’s a difference in age for not trusting computers with life-or-death decisions, with 37% of 16-24s worried about it, compared to 48% of 55-64s.
The other notable demographic breakdown for these concerns is gender. Men are more enthusiastic about the prospect of self-driving cars, with women tending to be more apprehensive. Male respondents are also willing to go further in terms of the level of autonomy they’re happy to drive with; 36% of male drivers would be willing to drive a car with “eyes off” or “minds off” autonomy (what are called “level 3” and “level 4” of autonomy respectively), compared to 27% of female drivers.
The survey points out that only 10% of drivers in the U.S. would pay more than $10,000 for a self-driving car, which is quite a conservative estimate of how much more a self-driving car would cost in reality. More of them (15%) expected to pay the same amount as a normal car, though 31% were willing to pay up to $10,000 more. More revealingly, a quarter of drivers in both markets say they would never buy a car with self-driving technology.
The next 5-10 years will likely see continued investment and testing from tech companies, automobile manufacturers, and mobility providers. But as they pump billions into self-driving technology, there is still work to be done in converting those who will drive it, or share the road with it.