The world has changed since the pandemic. It’s given many of us a new perspective on our old ways of doing things—especially the way we work. After a  break from commuting due to shelter-in-place orders, for many it’s hard to imagine returning to the same old ways of getting places. We wanted to explore how Americans feel about the future of commuting and transportation more broadly. How do factors like the pandemic, personal safety, the environment, and quality of life impact their views of commuting options, including future autonomous vehicles?

Those about to start driving regularly again may be encouraged that the roads are a bit less crowded than before. Yet quieter roads don’t necessarily mean safer roads. Despite lower numbers of cars being driven in the past few years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded more aggressive driving behavior and more fatalities (Source: NHTSA, 2022).

To better understand attitudes and the shift of our transportation expectations, we’ve partnered with global consulting and market research firm the Harris Poll, who conducted the survey on our behalf. In this survey, we asked 2,000 Americans how their ways of getting around have shifted since the pandemic, and how evolving technology and other factors have affected what they expect from transportation in the coming years. 

We were intrigued to discover what was top of mind for Americans as they rethink ways to get from A to B. Some would like transportation to play more of a role in caregiving. Some want safer ways to travel. And others are examining their environmental impact—and how car ownership might affect that.

When can I use an autonomous vehicle This image is an infographic from a survey about the future of transportation and commuting conducted by autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, and market research firm, the Harris Poll. This infographic shows the results of three questions about when Americans believe they will be able to ride in autonomous vehicles. The infographic includes three columns that each have an illustration at the top of the column, a percentage in the middle of the column, and a written description at the bottom of the column. At the bottom of the infographic there are directions to visit www.zoox.com/journal/future-of-commuting for more information. The first column has an illustration of a Zoox autonomous vehicle, which is drawn as a rectangle with rounded edges with a wheel on both the right and left bottom corners. It includes the stat: 59% anticipate being able to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle within the next five years. The second column has an illustration of a faceless head on a clothed upper body. Gen Z is written across the shirt. It includes the stat: 44% of Gen Z and Young Millennials and 51% of Older Millennials can already envision a point in their lifetime where drivers’ licenses could become obsolete. The third column is an illustration of a city skyline and a hill. A Zoox autonomous vehicle, which is drawn as a rectangle with rounded edges with a wheel on both the right and left bottom corners, is driving up the hill. It includes the stat: 41% of Americans believe that in 10 years, all vehicles on the road could be fully self-driving/autonomous.

Americans are envisioning a world where they will use autonomous vehicles (AVs) instead of their cars. Many believe that in just 10 years, every vehicle will be able to navigate autonomously.

This image is an infographic from a survey about the future of transportation and commuting conducted by autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, and market research firm, the Harris Poll. This infographic shows the results of three questions about what Americans think about their commute. The infographic includes three columns that each have an illustration at the top of the column, a percentage in the middle of the column, and a written description at the bottom of the column. At the bottom of the infographic there are directions to visit www.zoox.com/journal/future-of-commuting for more information. The first column has an illustration of the letter “Z” made to look like a road with an icon at each end to denote a starting and ending point. It includes the stat: 55% of Americans agree that autonomous vehicles would improve their commute. The second column has an illustration of the front of a commuter train on tracks. It includes the stat: 74% of Americans agree that COVID-19 has made them nervous about taking public transportation. The third column has an illustration of a faceless head on an upper body. The face has a mouth that is turned upside down in a frown. A steering wheel is drawn on the chest, as if the person is sitting in a car. It includes the stat: 73% of Americans believe that the stress of the pandemic has resulted in increased road rage and 66% feel that drivers are more distracted on the road.

Traveling by road or public transportation now feels risky for Americans. Instead, they’re intrigued by how AVs could improve commuting and other daily journeys.

This image is an infographic from a survey about the future of transportation and commuting conducted by autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, and market research firm, the Harris Poll. This infographic shows the results of three questions about autonomous vehicles and personal safety. The infographic includes three columns that each have an illustration at the top of the column, a percentage in the middle of the column, and a written description at the bottom of the column. At the bottom of the infographic there are directions to visit www.zoox.com/journal/future-of-commuting for more information. The first column has an illustration of a circle with lines drawn inside the circle to look like roads on a map. It includes the stat: 55% of Americans would rather ride in a self-driving/autonomous taxi or die hailing service than ride with a stranger in a traditional taxi/ride-hailing service. The second column has an illustration of the outline of a faceless human raising its hand. It includes the stat: 41% of Americans cite personal safety (e.g. not having to ride with a stranger) as a top benefit of using a self-driving/autonomous taxi or ride-hailing service. Specifically, 45% of Women v. 37% of Men. The third column has an illustration of a faceless head with bangs and a bun on an upper body. The face has a mouth that is smiling. Floating around the head are illustrations of two music notes and a heart. It includes the stat: 61% of Americans believe that self-driving/autonomous vehicles will reduce human stress levels and anxiety on our roads.

From a personal health and safety perspective, we found most Americans think AVs could be a more appealing way to travel.

This image is an infographic from a survey about the future of transportation and commuting conducted by autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, and market research firm, the Harris Poll. This infographic shows the results of three questions about the impact of various forms of transportation on the environment. The infographic includes three columns that each have an illustration at the top of the column, a percentage in the middle of the column, and a written description at the bottom of the column. At the bottom of the infographic there are directions to visit www.zoox.com/journal/future-of-commuting for more information. The first column has an illustration of a weather thermometer that is reaching a hot temperature. It includes the stat: 73% of Americans are concerned about the impact of cars and carbon pollution on climate change/environment. The second column has an illustration of two faceless people sitting in two seats facing each other. A green circle is drawn in the middle of the illustration. It includes the stat: 55% of Americans are open to ride-sharing to minimize their impact on the environment. The third column has an illustration of a green dot with multiple curves in increasing size on the left and right side of the dot. This is made to look like sound waves from an emergency siren. It includes the stat: 60% believe self-driving/autonomous taxi and ride-hailing services would be more resilient in times of emergency (health outbreaks, social unrest, extreme weather) than other means of public transportation.

In recent years, many Americans have become concerned about how cars affect their environmental impact. They’re open to on-demand AVs as a greener, more reliable way to travel.

This image is an infographic from a survey about the future of transportation and commuting conducted by autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, and market research firm, the Harris Poll. This infographic shows the results of two questions about how caregivers and families may benefit from autonomous vehicles. The infographic includes two columns that each have an illustration at the top of the column, a percentage in the middle of the column, and a written description at the bottom of the column. At the bottom of the infographic there are directions to visit www.zoox.com/journal/future-of-commuting for more information. The first column has an illustration of a Zoox autonomous vehicle, which is drawn as a rectangle with rounded edges with a wheel on both the right and left bottom corners. Above the vehicle is a drawing of a padlock. It includes the stat: 71% of Caregivers and 62% of Parents/Guardians say that autonomous vehicles would give them peace of mind that their dependents are being driven around safely. The second column has an illustration of the outline of a faceless human family of four. The family member on the right is looking at a cell phone. It includes the stat: 62% of Parents/Guardians and Caregivers feel that self-driving/autonomous vehicles would improve their family’s quality of life.

As well as reducing their environmental impact, Americans are intrigued about the other advantages of AVs. Parents and caregivers, for example, trust future AVs to safely look after the ones they love, improving quality of life for the whole family.

The pandemic has shifted entrenched attitudes in all sorts of ways. When commuting and moving day to day, Americans want more than just a functional way to get around. They want to be safer, greener, and more purposeful–which is exactly what we’re working on. Want a sneak peek inside a vehicle built for the future of commuting and transportation? Have a look here.

Source

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Zoox between January 24th and February 4th, 2022 among 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. Figures for education, age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, US Census region, household income, household size and marital status were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Population benchmarks were obtained from the March 2021 US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Socioeconomic Supplement (CPS ASEC).

Categories