tech study

Chart from J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Tech Study.

Although only 23% of Baby Boomers and 18% of Pre-Boomers would trust self-driving cars, more than half of Gen Y and Gen Z vehicle owners trust the technology, according to the recently released J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Tech Study.

Danny King writes for AutoBlog that the results of this study jibe with studies that have said in recent years that Millennials are less interested in driving than people their age used to be. Thus, those under 30 are twice as likely to be interested in so-called alternative mobility choices like car sharing and “mobility-on-demand.” Earlier this year, a University of Michigan study found that fewer Americans are applying for driver’s licenses, in all age groups up to people in their 60s.

Survey Examined Many Areas

J.D. Power, a global market research company, conducted the study from February through March of this year, with an online survey of more than 7,900 people who bought or leased a new vehicle within the past five years. The study looks at consumer awareness and interest in technologies that are emerging or are expected in the future.

In addition to delving into people’s trust in automated technologies and interest in alternative mobility, the study analyzed a variety of areas, such as convenience and comfort, connectivity and entertainment, energy efficiency and navigation, driving assistance, and collision protection. The study also explored consumers’ interest in such topics as threats to cybersecurity.

Interest in Semi-Autonomous Features

Although many consumers in general are interested in semi-autonomous features such as “smart headlights, night vision, lane change assist, traffic jam assist, medical emergency stop, smart intersection, and predictive vehicle control,” the only age groups in which more than half of the people embrace fully-autonomous vehicles are Gen Y and Gen Z, according to the study. Gen Y is defined as people born from 1977 to 1994, and Gen Z are those born from 1995 to 2000 for the purposes of this study. Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964, and pre-Boomers are those born before 1946. Gen-X are people born from 1965 to 1976.

Idle Hands?

Meanwhile, in another self-driving car news item, Sage Lazzaro writes for the Canadian publication Observer Business & Tech that there is growing concern that people in autonomous vehicles will be having sex in the vehicles, and will not be prepared to take the wheel should there be an emergency:

While it would be easy to look up from your phone and grab the wheel, the same can’t be said if sex is your chosen driverless car pastime.

He added that 30 United States cities are expected to have self-driving vehicles by the end of this year. “[B]ut only time will tell if the U.S. sector will grow concerned about sex as a distracted driving problem as well.”

Among the many snide comments suggesting that a CBC article on the topic was merely “click bait,” someone using the name Citizen #1122455122247 wrote:

The benefits of a properly integrated, self driving car network, along with traffic management networks would be a huge benefit to society overall, would help reduce congestion, would help reduce emissions […] Of course then our employers will expect us to be working during our commutes.