Are Canadians eager for driverless cars?

Survey suggests western women somewhat tentative, while younger central Canada men can't wait.

0 January 6, 2016
by Design Engineering staff

Audi's e-tron Quattro concept is one of many driverless cars stealing the show at CES 2016.

Audi’s e-tron Quattro concept is one of many driverless cars stealing the show at CES 2016.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, online insurance marketplace firm,, released the findings of a survey on Canadians’ attitudes towards driverless cars. According to the survey, Canadians are evenly split with 52 percent expressing some reluctance (i.e. adopting the technology would depend on how well it works). At the extremes, one in four said they couldn’t wait for driverless cars while almost as many said they love driving too much.

“With companies like Google and major auto manufacturers obtaining permits to test autonomous technologies, these vehicles could be a reality in the next few years,” said Andrew Lo, Chief Marketing Officer and Tech Expert at “While it is fun to imagine the possibilities these innovations present, we wanted to find out from Canadian consumers how they truly felt about the possibility of sharing the road with self-driving cars.”

Geographically, Quebec and Ontario are the most enthusiastic while Western Canadians were the least likely to want the driverless car. With some of the busiest and longest commuting times in the country, Ontarians felt a less stressful commute was one of the top benefits of a driverless car. In addition, almost twice as many men as women are eager for driverless cars, and the younger demographic, age 18 to 34, are the most excited.

Overall, the majority of Canadians surveyed said driverless cars will be safer. Fifty-one percent believe there will be fewer accidents, and 61 percent think the elimination of risks like speeding and drunk driving will be the among the best outcomes of driverless vehicles. Other benefits include a more enjoyable and relaxing drive (39 percent), less stress (35 percent), and not worrying about parking (22 percent). Nineteen per cent think a driverless car is just “plain cool.”

The survey was conducted online in December 2015 with a nationally representative sample of 1,095 Canadians, a sample accurate to within +/-3 percentage points or 19 times out of 20.

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