Autonomous Autos: Tech Boon or Safety BustSelf-driving cars are the very near future, we dug into Quantcast data to find out who really cares.

Tech’d out cars are the hottest thing in the automotive industry. The transportation space has been rocked by technology companies like Uber and Google, leaving traditional automakers racing to keep up. Ford committed $4.5 billion toward electric and autonomous vehicles while other concept cars are re-imagining car time activities – one even has its own garden. Self-driving cars are the very near future, we dug into Quantcast data to find out who really cares.

A typical self-driving car searcher was Male, 18-35 years old, income of $50K+, college/grad school educated and Asian/Hispanic.

Top states searching for self-driving cars were those already living in a driverless car world.

California, where Uber has already experimented with self-driving car tests, indexed the highest. Washington ranked second on the heels of a proposal for a 150 mile Seattle freeway dedicated to self-driving cars. Maryland rounds out the top three, coincidentally, in December Baltimore filed to be a test ground for self-driving cars.

Searchers for driverless cars fell into two distinct camps – people interested in safety versus those interested in the technology.

Safety Seekers
A global study from Deloitte found 74% of Americans have safety concerns about self-driving cars. Safety searchers were split almost evenly between genders, but skewed toward an older 45+ year old demographic, higher income ($100K+), grad school and Asian. Safety searchers were more likely to own Volvo, Audi and Subaru vehicles – all top rated safety cars according to Kelley Blue Book. Top occupations were government workers, lawyers and marketing – all people who may be interested in the legality of driverless cars.

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Tech Lovers
Technology searchers matched the profile of an early adopter, similar to Tesla searchers. Technology searchers skewed heavily toward males, 18-44 years old, higher income $50K+, grad school and Asian/Hispanic. Top cars owned by the group were: Tesla, Porsche and Lexus. Interestingly, Lexus (along with Ford Fusion) make up 80% of the self-driving cars that are being tested by third parties for use. Technology searchers are most likely to be engineers, consultants and medical professionals.

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Will autonomous autos be a tech boon or a safety bust? It’s up to automakers to find the sweet spot where safety and technology intersect.

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