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What Americans think about future of travel?

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Everything we know about exploring the world is about to change. How travelers feel about new developments? A new study reveals what American travelers find interesting in near-future methods of travel.

Supersonic Flight

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, according to the annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index.

The study reveals that 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)

LEVELS OF INTEREST
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%
CONFIDENCE IN SAFETY FOR FUTURE TRAVEL METHODS
Very Confident 23% 15% 19% 16% 22%
Somewhat Confident 41% 36% 37% 33% 42%
Not Confident 36% 49% 44% 51% 36%

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.

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