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New data finds that trust in autonomous vehicles hasn’t changed much in the past year. Teens and younger millennials are still more likely to trust self-driving cars, while very few baby boomers do.
Market research firm J.D. Power and Associates surveyed US internet users ages 16 and older who have purchased or leased a new vehicle in the past five years. In 2017, 23% of teens and young adults ages 16 to 22 said they would definitely trust fully automated self-driving cars. But that’s not very different from their response a year ago—an increase of just 2 percentage points.
And the number of young people who said they would probably trust autonomous vehicles actually declined slightly during this time, from 34% to 33%.
One key difference from last year’s responses, however, is that more individuals in this age group said they would definitely not trust self-driving cars. In fact, their distrust doubled, from 11% in 2016 to 22% in 2017.
But skepticism in self-driving cars didn’t just increase among young people. Some 39% of boomer respondents polled in 2016 said they definitely wouldn’t trust these vehicles; that number increased to 44% in 2017.
One reason for this increase in distrust? Many are concerned that the technology of self-driving cars could fail them. According to the study, nearly half of boomer respondents felt this way, as did roughly a third of teens and young adults.
And when asked what activities they would conduct for the majority of time they were in a self-driving car, unsurprisingly, 39% of baby boomers said they would not ride in a self-driving car at all, about five times the number of teens and young adults who would also refuse to do so.
Other responses from 2017 varied greatly. For example, a quarter of teens and young adults said they would take a nap in a self-driving car, compared with only 6% of boomers. Nearly a third (31%) of younger respondents would talk or text for the majority of the time; just 12% of boomers would do the same.
eMarketer estimates that US adults will average 12 hours 7 minutes of media usage per day this year, up 3 minutes from 2016. Time spent with mobile will account for nearly all of the increase.
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