UMich Researchers Publish Study On Flying Cars

Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle from the Unversity of Michigan published the results of their survey on the public's perception of flying cars.

Michael Sivak is the Director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of MIchigan’s Transportation Research Center. Working with project manager Brandon Schoettle from the Human Factors Group Sivak published a paper in April outlining the public’s perception about flying cars. Sivak reached out to us this week to discuss the results of the survey.

The report, titled SWT-2017-8 A Survey of Public Opinion About Flying Cars, intended to survey Americans on their views pertaining to flying cars. Data was taken from 508 responses through a fifteen question, online survey of American adults. The report was published in April 2017 and an abstract of the report can be found here.

SurveyMonkey’s Audience tool was used to find adult responders with a 52 / 48 percent split between females and males. The researchers grouped the respondents into four age groups, ten income groups, and the seven US Census regions.

The key findings for this report read mostly like I would expect with a few surprises added into the mix. Two-thirds of respondents were already familiar with the concept of flying cars and three-fifths were very concerned about the overall safety of flying cars. Fully autonomous vehicles were preferred both in situations where the users would take a flying car as a taxi vehicle, and when the user would own and operate the flying car. My big surprise was that a quarter of respondents said that $100,000-200,000 was definitely affordable, along with the idea that double the cost of traditional car insurance is definitely affordable.

It’s very promising to me to see that as a society we’re taking the concept of flying cars seriously. Hopefully the information obtained in this report can be a part of the benchmark that manufacturers use to develop the next generation of flying vehicles.

Photos courtesy Creative Commons.