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Canadians split on desire for driverless cars

Majority of survey respondents believe autonomous vehicles will make Canada's roads safer.


TORONTO — Canadians are evenly split on their willingness to get behind the wheel of a driverless car, according to a survey from online insurance marketplace Kanetix.ca.

One in four cannot wait for the day that driverless cars will be available, and almost as many say no thanks because they love driving too much.

The majority of Canadians are more tentative, with 52% saying it would depend on the technology and how well it works before they would make a decision.

Western Canadians are the least likely to want the driverless car with Quebec and Ontario being the most enthusiastic.

There are also differences among age and gender. Almost twice as many males as females want driverless cars, and the younger demographic, age 18 to 34, are the most excited.

The majority of survey respondents say driverless cars will be safer. Fifty-one per cent believe there will be fewer accidents, and 61% think the elimination of risks like speeding and drunk driving will be the among the best outcomes of autonomous vehicles.

Other benefits include a more enjoyable and relaxing drive (39%), less stress (35%), and not worrying about parking (22%). Nineteen per cent think a driverless car is just “plain cool.”

It is not surprising that in Ontario, with some of the busiest and longest commuting times in the country, a less stressful commute was considered one of the top benefits of a driverless car.

Whether they want to drive or be driven, it is likely most people would agree that a positive feature of driverless cars is that the dreaded parallel parking would be a thing of the past.

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