Worldwide Survey Highlights Growing Anticipation of Autonomous Vehicle Technology

ANSYS survey shows significant increase in anticipation of AVs.

Survey results pertaining to the timeline for global adoption of autonomous vehicles. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

Survey results pertaining to the timeline for global adoption of autonomous vehicles. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

Autonomous vehicles—once only the domain of science fiction—are rapidly entering the mainstream, and may one day completely replace the need for human input during transit. In fact, several large companies such as Tesla and BMW are already close to perfecting their driverless vehicle technology.

In order to better gauge the public’s perception of and readiness to accept autonomous vehicles into their lives, ANSYS commissioned a survey of 22,041 adults age 18 and older in 11 markets (the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Benelux [Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg], Sweden, Japan, China and India). The survey revealed some surprising results.

According to respondents from around the world, 7 out of 10 consumers believe that autonomous cars drive better than humans or that they will surpass human abilities by 2029. Other results from the survey include the fact that 77 percent of global respondents would be comfortable riding in an autonomous car at some point during their lifetimes.

Furthermore, the study indicated that “87 percent of 18- to 24-year-old respondents and 88 percent of 25- to 34-year-old respondents reported feeling comfortable with autonomous cars in their lifetime.” On the other hand, 43 percent of participants over the age of 65 said that they would never ride in an autonomous car.

This data presents an interesting counterpoint to research and polling conducted earlier this year, which indicated that three-quarters of Americans did not feel comfortable with or interested in owning a self-driving car.

Of course, any attempts to introduce new technologies into the public sphere—especially technologies such as automated vehicles that have a significant potential to upend the status quo—will generally be a tricky endeavour. Despite cars becoming safer each year, automotive accidents caused by human error still account for a significant number of fatalities around the world.

With that in mind, the safety benefits brought about by driverless cars would likely be enough of a reason alone to justify a degree of public anxiety. However, this technology also has the potential to completely disrupt large sectors of the global transportation and cargo industries, leaving many without jobs in the process.

As automated vehicle technology marches toward mainstream adaptation, manufacturers will no doubt benefit from continued accounts of the public’s perception of and reaction to driverless tech.

To read the ANSYS survey in its entirety, click here.