Young Consumers Show Resistance to Self-Driving Cars, Report Says | Edmunds

Young Consumers Show Resistance to Self-Driving Cars, Report Says


NEW YORK — More than 60 percent of American youths say they would prefer to do the driving themselves rather than turning the wheel over to a self-driving car, according to a new report from Nielsen.

"This research shows that the older the youth, the stronger the preference is to do the driving," said the report, which was released on Monday. "Nearly three in four high school-age youths prefer to man the wheel while only just over half of elementary-age youths feel the same way."

Nielsen surveyed more than 1,000 youths about their awareness and attitudes toward self-driving cars.
In another surprising twist, young consumers told researchers that they don't have any favorites when it comes to which brands they'd prefer to make tomorrow's self-driving cars.

"In fact, young consumers' overall interest in owning a self-driving vehicle made by a technology company is nearly as high as their interest in buying such a car from a traditional automaker," the report said. "When we look at the opinions of different ages, however, we see that middle- and high-schoolers actually favor traditional vehicle makers."

Tech giant Google has been at the forefront in the development of self-driving cars.

It has been testing its self-driving vehicles on California's public roads for over seven years and recently expanded testing to parts of Austin, Texas and Kirkland, Washington.

Automakers from Ford to Nissan are testing self-driving vehicles.

Google and General Motors last week provided a detailed look at the challenges involved in getting consumers to accept self-driving cars during a Congressional hearing.

Mike Ableson, GM's vice president of strategy and global portfolio planning, said the biggest challenge is getting "the technology exposed" to consumers.

Edmunds says: Even consumers who have grown up with technology seem to prefer the traditional route, according to this critical new report on self-driving cars.

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