Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian motorists still undecided about driverless cars

Just 25 per cent of Canadians are ready to sit back and let technology take the wheel



A large number of companies, including Google, are working to develop driverless cars

A large number of companies, including Google, are working to develop driverless cars

TORONTO—While most of the major automakers and more than a handful of aspiring vehicle technology companies are forging ahead into the driverless car market, the majority of Canadians aren’t sure they’re ready for the autonomous revolution.

According to a survey conducted by online insurance firm, Kanetix.ca, 52 per cent of Canadians want to see how well the technology works before coming down on either side of the debate.

But as the likes of Google, Ford, General Motors, Tesla and many others pursue self-driving technology, the other half of Canadians have already made up their minds. A full quarter of the population is ready to kick up their heels on the dashboard and let the technology take over, while 23 per cent say they enjoy driving too much to think of giving it up.

Unsurprisingly, age plays a major factor in how willing Canadians are to give up grasping the wheel. The survey, which polled a representative sample of approximately 1,100 Canadians, found 18-34 year-olds are the most enthusiastic about autonomous technology.

Meanwhile, geography is another significant factor in the debate. Drivers in Western Canada are more likely to shy away from driverless cars, while those in gridlocked Ontario and Quebec are eager to sit back and allow their commute to become significantly less stressful. Proponents’ belief that autonomous vehicles will cut down on traffic is another key factor behind support in the eastern part of the country.

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