Aspiring drivers don't want electric cars, are concerned about autonomous vehicles

Man in a self-driving car, no hands on the steering wheel

Aspiring drivers may be more conservative than you think when it comes to electric and self-driving cars. According to a new report by Elegant E-Learning, most of the folks studying for their drivers license are still very much interested in petrol-powered cars and have concerns about the benefits of self-driving vehicles.

Elegant E-Learning polled over 200,000 aspiring drivers in US, UK, Canada, and Australia and discovered that, if given the option between an electric and a petrol-powered car at a similar price, over 60 percent would opt for the latter. And that's interesting, because most respondents are Millennials -- they make up between 67.9 and 75.1 percent of the polled folks -- a group that is well known for its affinity for technology.

Regarding self-driving cars, when asked how concerned would they be riding in one on a scale of 0 (not concerned at all) and 10 (extremely concerned), Elegant E-Learning has found that the average response falls between 5.17 and 5.75, which "would normally indicate a moderate level of concern overall. However, all four sample standard deviations were wide, indicating a wide divergence of views."

There are many respondents with totally differing views here, with around 40 percent (or more) being either not concerned or very concerned about riding in a self-driving car. A significant number of respondents also fall in the middle, answering with "5" to the aforementioned question.

Elegant E-Learning received similar answers when it asked respondents if the benefits of self-driving vehicles outweigh the costs and risks. The range of answers is from 0 (impossible) and 10 (definitely), with the average being between 4.81 and 5.38. Again, that reflects their mixed-feelings, but there is also a significant variation as many respondents have very strong feelings here, answering with either 0 or 10. It is worth noting that the number of folks who have replied with "5" is similar to that of those who answered with "0" or "10."

Elegant E-Learning asked a fourth (and final) question, this time about which of the following manufacturers respondents believe will sell the most electric and self-driving vehicles in the coming 10 years. Unsurprisingly, it is Tesla which leads the pack, followed by Toyota and Honda, in US and Canada. However, in the UK and Australia, Toyota comes first. In Australia, Tesla comes second, followed by Honda in third, while in the UK it is Ford in second place and "other" manufacturers in third.

You can learn more about the survey by reading the full report, which is available here.

Photo Credit: RioPatuca/Shutterstock

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