Australian drivers are more open to emerging technology in cars than their peers in the US and UK – this, according to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
A survey of 1596 motorists by the University of Michigan Transport Research Institute found that the Australians’ attitudes to connected cars were more progressive than those from other countries. Most of the 500 Australians who took part in the survey were not aware of connected vehicle technology before their participation, but this group was most likely to express an interest in having connected car features in their next car.
Results published by the university found “Australians generally indicated more optimistic expectations for benefits from mobility applications,” and “Australian respondents were less concerned with security related to hacking and data privacy than US respondents”.
Compared with similar groups from the UK and US, Australians were more likely to believe that self-driving cars would reduce traffic congestion, improve travel times, lower vehicle emissions, and improve emergency responses to collisions.
But Australian drivers were the most sceptical when asked whether smart cars would lower insurance costs, and most did not believe connected cars would result in fewer distractions for drivers.
Te survey went on to show that driver opinions varied by nationality, with US drivers the more concerned about the consequences of systems failure and a driver’s legal liability than their commonwealth counterparts. US drivers were also most concerned about how vulnerable connected cars could be to hackers, while Australian drivers were more concerned with how clever cars could interact with pedestrians and cyclists.
Some 96 per cent of Australians had a positive impression of connected vehicles, while the US trailed behind with 93.4 per cent.