People Expect Self-Driving Cars to Be Common in 50 Years
October 29, 2018

Consumers look forward to a self-driving car future even while harboring fears and uncertainty now, according to a new Intel study entitled Next 50.

The survey of US consumers found that only 21 percent of Americans would swap their cars for self-driving cars today, even though 63 percent expect such vehicles to be the norm in 50 years. That future vision fits with an earlier study in which Intel predicted a passenger-centric future worth $7 trillion by 2050.

Intel’s previous 2017 Passenger Economy report found that self-driving vehicles have the potential to save 585,000 lives from 2035 to 2045. But Intel’s new study found consumers conflicted about this promise. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (43 percent) said they don’t feel safe around autonomous vehicles (AV) – with women more fearful than men. At the same time, more than half of consumers look forward to the day when they won’t have to drive and expect to be using their car time for entertainment or work within 50 years.

When asked what they expect to do in an autonomous vehicle in the next 50 years, people expressed enthusiasm for the full gamut of activities spanning work, rest and play:

- Consume entertainment (58 percent)
- Socialize (57 percent)
- Work (56 percent)
- Host meetings (33 percent)
- Groom (26 percent)
- Exercise (14 percent)

Autonomous driving not only offers the promise of significant social benefits – including saving lives – it will also unlock new passenger experiences. Cars will no longer simply be about mobility, they will hold the potential to become experiential transportation pods. The 2017 Passenger Economy Report was commissioned by Intel and conducted by Strategy Analytics.

Study Methodology: The “Next 50” Study was sponsored by Intel and PSB conducted the research to explore attitudes and perceptions of technology today and 50 years from now. To meet these objectives, PSB conducted an online quantitative study from May 9-20, 2018 among the US general public (n=1000) and U.S. technology elites (n=102).