Jun 19, 2017

Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index Reveals Many Americans Wary of Self-Driving Cars

In the Future of Travel, Safety Concerns over Autonomous Technology and Flying Vehicles Overshadow Excitement for Innovative Possibilities 

RICHMOND, VA, JUNE 19, 2017 —If the ‘future were now,’ travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving or autonomous vehicle, according to the annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index released today.

As the Future of Travel quickly approaches with experimental transport technology accelerating at a rapid pace, the vacation vehicle of tomorrow that is closest to reality today – the self-driving car – is among the most concerning for potential travelers worried about their safety.

If given the opportunity to use any of the current, experimental, or near-future methods of travel today, most Americans are at least somewhat interested in experiencing nearly all the new ways to explore the world, or even beyond it. But only 22 percent of travelers are very interested (and 32 percent “somewhat” interested) in self-driving vehicles being developed by all the major auto manufacturers and Silicon Valley companies like Google, Uber and Tesla, with 65 percent of those not interested citing worries over “safety concerns.”

Self-driving/autonomous vehicles rate lowest for travelers “very interested” and highest for “safety concerns” among those not interested when compared to all other future travel methods surveyed, including space travel, supersonic travel, Hyperloop high-speed rail, and even so-called flying cars.

“While transportation technology is poised to change the way Americans travel, safety has emerged as a top concern,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We expect consumers to be more hesitant in adopting new technologies like the artificial intelligence steering self-driving vehicles, than they might be with existing technologies such as space and supersonic travel that have been developed but are not yet available to the masses.”

While the current outlook for traveler uptake of self-driving vehicles is uncertain, the future is brighter with 64 percent of travelers confident that this travel method will develop safely enough for them to consider using, which, along with Hyperloop high-speed rail (64 percent), is well above the confidence for the safety of supersonic travel (56 percent), space travel (51 percent) or flying cars (49 percent). In total, however, only a minority are “very confident” about the safety of any of these travel methods being safe enough for mainstream consumer use.

Self-driving/ Autonomous Vehicles: (Google, Uber, Tesla) Space Travel: (Orbital, Space Station, Moon, Mars)  Supersonic Travel:(Flying faster than speed of sound) Flying Cars: Taxi Drones, VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing), etc. Hyperloop:(High-Speed magnetic levitation train) 
Very Interested 22% 22% 24% 25% 27%
Somewhat Interested 32% 24% 30% 26% 34%
Not Interested 47% 55% 46% 48% 39%
REASONS FOR LACK OF INTEREST (Among those not interested)
Safety Concerns 65% 48% 47% 61% 51%
Cost/Budget 20% 41% 32% 24% 22%
Lack of Familiarity 21% 20% 28% 26% 34%
Don’t want to be first/test subject 21% 27% 23% 22% 24%
Bad Publicity 10% 4% 5% 4% 5%
Other 10% 12% 10% 8% 7%
Very Confident 23% 15% 19% 16% 22%
Somewhat Confident 41% 36% 37% 33% 42%
Not Confident 36% 49% 44% 51% 36%

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.

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Methodology: These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted May 3rd to May 5th, 2017, on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance.  For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,009 Americans aged 18+ from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed online.   With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Allianz Global Assistance USA 

Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company.  We provide insurance to over 25 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.

To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.

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