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Brief Published: 6 May 2016

Gen Z & Self-Driving Cars

Nearly three-quarters of Americans aged 14 to 18 would prefer driving themselves to self-driving cars

Self-driving cars may be set to revolutionise the future of the auto industry, but a March 2016 survey from Nielsen has found that more than 60% of high-school age Americans would prefer to drive themselves, rather than let a car do it for them.

Although the majority of Gen Z consumers are reportedly aware of self-driving cars, this tech-native demographic has a strong preference for self-dependence when it comes to driving – particularly among those closest to the legal driving age.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Gen Z consumers in grades nine to 12 (aged 14 to 18) said they would prefer driving themselves, versus 59% of those in grades six to eight (aged 11 to 13) and 54% of those in grades three to five (aged seven to 10).

“As elementary schoolers grow older and eventually start driving, will they shift in their thinking toward a desire to take the wheel themselves, or are they so accustomed to placing their trust in technology that they will continue to be more open to allowing the vehicle to do the driving?” the report asked.

For more on the future of self-driving technology, advances in public and private transport, and consumers’ attitudes towards these shifts, read Radical Transport.

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