Insights From the 2017 State of Driving Survey

As the latest advanced auto technology makes its way to the consumer, it’s important to take a pulse on how much average consumers actually know about this technology, and, perhaps more importantly, how they feel about it.

Klashwerks’ 2017 State of Driving Survey does just that, and reveals both shocking and insightful findings. Read on for some highlights.

Self-Driving Sentiments

According to the survey, today’s consumers aren’t quite yet bought into the idea of self-driving cars. On one side of the spectrum, 17.6 percent are terrified by self-driving cars, while, on the other side, only 4.6 percent say they will be purchasing one as soon as they can.

Other findings show that 44.6 percent need more information in order to decide how they feel about self-driving cars, and 19 percent think they’re cool but would never purchase one. Another 12.5 percent think self-driving cars are currently just a matter of hype, and a mere 1.6 percent say they haven’t heard of them.

When it comes to riding in them, a quarter of people (24.8 percent) say they would never try it, while 38.2 percent are up for the thrill.

Lingo Labyrinth

Despite their hesitancy to adopt self-driving cars, drivers are certainly aware of them: “Self-driving car” is the top term urvey participants are familiar with, at 74.5 percent. However, a mere 34.6 percent know the term “autonomous vehicle,” though it is essentially synonymous with “self-driving.”

In a similar way, 34.6 percent of respondents own a car that has the technology to classify it as connected, but only 25.3 percent believe they have connected cars. These discrepancies illustrate a low level overall of consumer awareness of today’s auto technologies and the need for further education.

When it comes to other car talk, the findings also reveal:

  • Only 22.8 percent are familiar with the term “connected car.”
  • More than half (53.2 percent) are familiar with “autopilot.”
  • 39.4 percent are familiar with “adaptive cruise control.”
  • One of the most familiar car terms for consumers is “dashcam” (69.4 percent).

Motoring and Multitasking

Until self-driving cars become a reality, multi-tasking while driving is often a risk that people think they should take.

Half of respondents (50 percent) admit to talking on the phone while driving, while 17 percent are guilty of texting behind the wheel. For young drivers (age 18–29), texting and driving is an even greater issue, with 31.6 percent admitting to it.

Lastly, the survey finds that — along with multitasking — drivers have some other shocking things they’d like to do while driving:

  • 4.7 percent are tempted to have sex while driving.
  • 5.5 percent are tempted to close their eyes and catch some sleep behind the wheel.
  • 10.8 percent want to road rage from time to time.
  • Women are more tempted to road rage than men (11.8 percent versus 9.8 percent), but men are more likely to want to drive illegally (4.5 percent versus 2.8 percent).

Industry Takeaways

The survey reveals two overarching findings: First, it’s clear that the industry must do more to help inform auto consumers on the technology available to them. Secondly, given the overwhelming desire to multitask while in the car, solutions are needed to keep drivers focused on their driving activities until technology develops enough to allow multitasking to be performed while driving safely.