At this year’s annual New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) event held at MIT, the AgeLab at MIT in conjunction with NEMPA released the results of a survey on Automated vehicle technology. The survey covered every geographical area of the United States and encompassed every age and gender. One interesting result of the survey is that older drivers, who might be the biggest beneficiaries of autonomous vehicle technology, don’t want it.
Bryan Reimer, Research Scientist MIT AgeLab and Associate Director of the New England University Transportation Center, gave a stirring overview of the survey’s reach and results. Reimer said, “The survey suggests that only 1 in 7 respondents 65 or older would be comfortable with fully automated vehicles. The good news, however, is that greater than 50% of the older adult market appear comfortable with the concept of technological innovations that help the driver. This clearly overlaps with the current state of vehicle technology offerings.”
Older drivers are not alone in a lack of enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles. The survey concludes that even among the most tech savvy age group, the 25-35 age bracket, less than half want automated cars. In other age brackets (16 to 24, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 65 to 74 and 75-plus), interest in fully-autonomous technology is as low as 12.7 percent.