The autonomous vehicle industry has certainly experienced some shifts over the past year. As of October 2022, Argo AI, the Ford-Volkswagen-backed self-driving startup, ceased operations in several cities, as a result of AV technology complexity and the massive amounts of resources required. However, the recent Consumer Electronics Show could hint at a promising future for autonomous technology, as transportation technologies dominated the 2023 conference.

That said, how likely are consumers to adopt self-driving vehicles and autonomous tech, as the AV market continues to evolve? 

CivicScience tracking shows that interest in owning or leasing a self-driving car decreased by four percentage points since 2021, equivalent to interest levels in 2019 (11%). However, there’s growing interest in autonomous tech in-vehicle, such as parking assist and blind spot / lane departure warnings (currently at 16%). On the other end, the percentage of consumers uninterested in riding or owning has grown two percentage points since 2021 (65%).

This could mean that consumers don’t feel completely confident in self-driving cars yet, and want to see more proven success before fully adopting a self-driving car. This is in line with CivicScience data, as general comfort with driverless vehicles decreased five percentage points from the last reading (27%) and the percentage of those ‘not comfortable at all’ reaching a new high (73%). 

However, comfort levels jump to 57% among young Gen Z adults aged 18-24, which is the only age group that expresses higher comfort than discomfort levels.

Looking at how interest lies among a range of car brand favorables, makers who have all tapped into autonomous tech, Tesla favorables are the most likely to want to own/lease a self-driving vehicle. This makes sense as Tesla’s self-driving options are rated a level 2 on vehicle autonomy (0 means no automation, and 5 means fully autonomous), which is the highest level currently available on the market. These consumers likely already trust self-driving features. Following largely behind Tesla are BMW (13%), Nissan (12%), Ford (12%), and Toyota (12%).

When it comes to interest in autonomous tech in-vehicle, Tesla favorables also take the top spot (29%), followed by Nissan (23%). Interest in riding in a self-driving car across all brand favorables is relatively consistent (7-9%), but Toyota consumers express the lowest interest in owning or riding in a self-driving autonomous car (64%).

Other insights from the data:

  • Those interested in owning or leasing a self-driving car are much more likely to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms – nearly half have three or more streaming subscriptions. 
  • Consumers interested in having a self-driving vehicle are more likely to have experience with grocery delivery.

CivicScience will continue tracking autonomous vehicle trends. Check back in for more of the latest insights, or contact us for an InsightStore demo today.