Australians Want Self-Driving Cars
February 19, 2020

New technologies are not being adopted quickly by Australians, with only 57% reporting they have used smart technologies. Yet, when it comes to investing in future technologies that enable self-driving cars, almost 50% of respondents would be interested, as compared to the UK (38%) and US (31%), according to new research conducted by Toluna, a consumer intelligence platform that delivers insights on demand, and Harris Interactive, a full-service digital consultative market research agency.

The survey revealed that 31% still don’t own a wearable, voice assistant device or smart home appliance. If they were going to invest in new technologies, they report they would be most interested in smart home tech with 70% stating that they would buy a connected home device, such as Google Nest or Lenovo Display, smart light bulbs (62%) and connected appliances (50%).

The research clearly shows that as technology develops and plays a larger role in our lives, people in Australia are not keen on companies using technology advancements to better target consumers with their services and products. For example, when asked if they would be comfortable with retail stores using facial recognition technology to better personalize point of sale advertisements, half agreed that they would be uneasy with it.

“Although Australians are familiar with new technologies and understand how they work and the benefits they provide, there is a line drawn when it comes to how far they are willing to allow technology to penetrate their lives. There is simply a good proportion who don’t want to invest in the technology yet,” said Stephen Walker, BD Director for Australia, Toluna. “They do not want to be marketed to more heavily through the introduction of facial technology systems at retail outlets, or through user specific adverts via their Google Home or Amazon Alexa device. However, when it comes to making mundane tasks such as parking a car easier, they are much more willing to embrace technology. Ultimately, consumers still want to remain in control of how, when and why they use technology. As the trend towards automation grows, we remain cautious and, to a degree, concerned about how it impacts human decision making which will always be the instinctively favored choice.”