Toronto, ON (Jan. 6, 2017) – At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 5-8, 2017), the reality of driverless cars on our roads will accelerate. But how ready are Canadians to hand over the controls? Kanetix.ca has released new survey findings of Canadians’ attitudes on the (not so) futuristic vehicles.
One in four (26 per cent) of Canadians said they couldn’t wait for the day when driverless cars would be reality, up slightly from last year when 25 per cent said the same. Many drivers however remain neutral on the idea, with 56 per cent saying it would depend on the technology and how well it works, compared to 52 per cent last year. Only 18 per cent said no thanks, they love driving too much, down from 23 per cent.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the younger demographic, age 18 to 34, are the most excited about driverless cars, with 36 per cent saying they can’t wait for the day.
“Technology is continually improving and innovating, and we’ve already seen auto manufacturers incorporate self-driving safety aspects in some existing vehicles, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) or sensors that temporarily control steering to avoid collisions,” said Andrew Lo, chief operating officer and tech expert at Kanetix.ca. “It’s still a jump for most people to make in terms of going completely driverless but Canadians are interested in these improved safety features and, as a result, seem willing to slowly adopt more automated functions.”
Indeed, the survey finds that 59 per cent of Canadians would buy or lease a car with improved self-driving safety features; features like front crash prevention, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot detection to name just a few. Some features could even help lower auto insurance premiums.
“Some of these improved safety features have caught the eye of insurers,” explained Mr. Lo. “Aviva Canada recently announced that policyholders who drive vehicles equipped with AEB will be eligible to receive a 15 per cent auto insurance discount. It’s expected that more insurers will follow.”
But while Canadians may not be entirely ready for a fully driverless experience, the overwhelming majority increasingly believe that autonomous cars will have a positive impact on our roads. Eighty-one per cent agree it will eliminate the threat of distracted driving, 73 per cent say it will reduce accidents and auto-related fatalities, and 68 per cent agree it will increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Less than half, however, feel that reduced traffic will be a benefit.
And when it comes to the overall driving experience, Quebecers are the most likely (71 per cent) to say driverless cars will bring an improvement, while only 55 per cent in Atlantic Canada agree.
In any case, Canadians feel they have plenty of time before driverless cars will be available to the public; 80 per cent say it won’t happen for another 15 or more years.
Visit for Kanetix.ca for more survey results.
About the Survey
The Kanetix.ca survey was conducted online in December 2016 with a nationally representative sample of 1000 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Launched in October 1999, Kanetix.ca was Canada’s first online insurance quotes marketplace and today provides over a million quotes per year to consumers looking for lower insurance rates, as well as comparisons for mortgage rates and credit cards.
The Kanetix.ca comparison service is a one-stop shopping environment for consumers. Each day, thousands visit the Kanetix website to comparison shop their various financial needs. Shoppers choose what they want to compare, obtain a quotation and complete an online application or, with the help of Kanetix connect with the provider to purchase or apply for the product over the phone.