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Canadians divided on driverless cars, Kanetix.ca study reveals


January 5, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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Canadians are evenly split on their desire for a driverless car, according to a survey on the topic by Kanetix.ca.

Twice as many males as females want driverless cars, according to the Kanetix.ca study

The online survey, conducted last month with a nationally representative sample of 1,095 Canadians, was released on Monday, in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, to be held from Jan. 6 to 9. A survey sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

According to the study, when asked if they would use a driverless car, 23% of respondents said “no thanks, they love driving too much.” One-quarter (25%) said yes, they “can’t wait for the day driverless cars will be available” and 52% said maybe, “it would depend on the technology.”

In terms of geography, Western Canadians are the least likely to want the driverless car, with Quebec and Ontario being the most enthusiastic. There are also differences among age and gender. Almost twice as many males as females want driverless cars, and the younger demographic, age 18 to 34, are the most excited, added a statement from KANETIX, a Canadian online insurance marketplace that provides over a million quotes per year to consumers looking for insurance, as well as comparisons for mortgage rates and credit cards. [click image below to enlarge]

23% of respondents said they would not use a driverless car, while 25% said they would

The survey found that a majority of Canadians said that driverless cars will be safer. Fifty-one per cent believe there will be fewer accidents and 61% think the elimination of risks like speeding and drunk driving will be among the best outcomes of driverless vehicles. Other benefits include a more enjoyable and relaxing drive (39%), less stress (35%), and not worrying about parking (22%). And 19% think a driverless car is just “plain cool,” the release said.

“It is not surprising that in Ontario, with some of the busiest and longest commuting times in the country, a less stressful commute was considered one of the top benefits of a driverless car,” KANETIX said in the release. “Whether they want to drive or be driven, it is likely most people would agree that a positive feature of driverless cars is that the dreaded parallel parking would be a thing of the past.”

Andrew Lo, chief marketing officer at tech expert at Kanetix.ca, said that driverless vehicles could be a reality in the next few years, as companies like Google and major auto manufacturers obtain permits to test autonomous technologies. “While it is fun to imagine the possibilities these innovations present, we wanted to find out from Canadian consumers how they truly felt about the possibility of sharing the road with self-driving cars.”


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