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Volvo finds majority ready for autonomous age

90% of consumers believe autonomous vehicles will make life easier

Published: June 29, 2016, 2:30 PM
Updated: July 7, 2016, 3:05 PM

Volvo explores how drivers can while away autonomous drives

When it comes to autonomous cars, most people are either for them or they’re against. It really is a west-coast/east-coast issue, with very little middle-America … except that a recent survey as shown that both coasts seem to be on-board with the new technology, while the land mass in between isn’t so sure.

Volvo’s Future of Driving survey has shown that New Yorkers are almost unanimous in their belief (90%) that autonomous vehicles will make their lives easier, joining a nearly identical percentage of Californians (86%).

Meanwhile, those further inland are a bit more skeptical. In Texas, just 60% believe autonomous vehicles could make their families safer on the road, which is under the 69% national average that thinks the same way. In Pennsylvania, 62% think that having more autonomous vehicles on the road will eliminate crashes, again below the national average of 68%, and just 52% of Illinois drivers believe trust autonomous vehicles to make decisions their safety (the national average on that question was 62%).

“The difference between states regarding the safety benefits of autonomous cars highlights why we need a federal framework for autonomous driving regulations,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA.

One of the few things surrounding autonomous cars on which most drivers are almost unanimously united (90%) is that they believe governments and local officials are slow to plan for the inevitability of autonomous driving. And 68% believe that manual driving should never be completely eliminated, even though the majority favours some form of autonomous vehicle control.

“Volvo believes that autonomous driving vehicles should give you the freedom to choose when you want to drive and when you want to delegate driving to the car,” said Kerssemakers. “The Future of Driving survey confirmed that consumers seek this freedom as autonomous driving technologies are introduced.”

The Future of Driving online survey polled 50,000 people worldwide about their views of autonomous driving, and is just one of several consumer studies Volvo has conducted leading up to the 2017 pilot program called “Drive Me,” which will put autonomous vehicles in the hands of 100 consumers.