Zipcar Study Reveals Urbanites’ Attitudes on Autonomous Cars

Photo courtesy of Zipcar.
Photo courtesy of Zipcar.
Zipcar, a worldwide car-sharing network, released the findings of its first-ever Zipcar Urbanite Study of city  dwellers nationwide. 

More than 1,200 members of "Generation City," comprised of urbanites of all ages, were asked about their attitudes and behaviors regarding work and money, lifestyle and technology, transportation, and urban citizenship.

The Urbanite Study is a progression of the company's annual millennial survey and last year's research on urbanites over the age of 50, who have returned to city living. The Zipcar studies revealed that city dwellers share similar attitudes and behaviors regardless of their age. According to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects 2014, 54 percent of the world's population today resides in urban areas, and predicts that number will grow to two thirds by 2050.

Key findings of the study, which was conducted by KRC Research, include:

  1. Mobile phones are urbanites' most valued piece of technology. In fact, when comparing which tech loss would have the greatest negative impact on their lives, urbanites were twice as likely to select their smartphone than their car (37 percent vs. 19 percent). The 2015 Millennial Survey showed that urbanites are nearly tied in how upset they would be if they lost their car (31 percent) or phone (32 percent).
  2. Half of today's city dwellers don't own a car or, if they do, don't drive every day. More than half of urbanites who own cars (51 percent) plan to decrease the amount of driving they do in the city, while two in five plan to sell their cars altogether. However, nearly 70 percent prefer to drive themselves rather than have someone else drive them.
  3. Eighty-three percent of urbanites belive automated cars will be on the streets within their lifetime. On average, urbanites think self-driving cars will begin to outnumber regular vehicles in about 25 years.

Millennial urbanites are nearly 25 percent more likely to think self-driving cars are safe than urban boomers (61 percent vs. 37 percent).

Nearly 50 percent of people within the study would be open to riding in a public automated vehicle like a city bus, while more than 40 percent would consider purchasing a personal automated vehicle or using a car sharing service for self-driving vehicles. Millennials are more than twice as likely to consider purchasing self-driving vehicles in the future versus urban boomers (56 percent vs. 23 percent.)

For the full findings of the Zipcar Urbanite Study, including data on Generation City's attitudes regarding work and money and urban citizenship, visit Zipcar

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