Most global consumers are intrigued by the idea of self-driving cars

Participants are most likely to view self-driving cars as making the driving experience more luxurious and comfortable.

As tech companies continue developing self-driving cars, Ipsos, on behalf of Global @dvisor, has completed a study on public perception of the new car technology. On the whole, the world seems curious, but hesitant, about the idea of self-driving cars.

Fifty-eight percent of global participants responded to the poll saying they were unsure, but intrigued by the idea of self-driving cars. Comparatively, just 13% said they would never use them and 30% are excited to use the cars and can’t wait to do so. Indian (49%), Malaysian (48%), and Chinese (46%) participants were most likely to answer that they are excited to use self-driving cars. Meanwhile, German (31%), French (25%), American (24%), English (24%), and Canadian (24%) participants were most likely to answer that they would never use a self-driving car.

Global participants saw many uses for self-driving cars in cutting down on mundane driving activities. When asked how often they would use self-driving car features for various driving activities, the top responses were parking (58%), commuting (53%), and driving on the highway (53%). When it came to driving situations that required more human adaptability, participants answered that they would use self-driving car features less often, comparatively. The lowest rate of responses saying they would frequently or always use a self-driving feature were for tasks such as driving in bad weather (40%) or driving in unfamiliar places (43%). The greatest perceived benefits to self-driving cars were all related to making driving a more luxurious experience. The world’s participants believe self-driving cars will make driving easier (69%), more comfortable (68%), and more relaxing (64%). 

As an unprecedented technology, much of the conversation surrounding self-driving cars has centered on regulation. When asked what kind of groups global consumers most trust to write proper self-driving car regulation, the plurality of participants answered that they most trusted those who manufactured the cars (43%). The government was the second most trusted institution with 28% of participants answering that they trusted the government the most on the issue.

Technical note

These findings are based on a survey of consumers from 28 countries via Ipsos’ Global @dvisor online survey platform. The survey was conducted between November 27 – December 8, 2017 on behalf of Global @dvisor. For this survey, Ipsos interviewed a total of 21,500+ adults aged 18-64 in the United States of America and Canada, and age 16-64 in all 26 other countries. The sample consists of 1,000+ individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Great Britain and the USA, and 500+ individuals in each of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.

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