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CarGurus Study Finds Over a Third of Canadian Car Shoppers Hope to Own an Autonomous Vehicle in Next Decade

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Comfort with self-driving technology grows, but hesitations around safety and cost remain

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG), a leading global online automotive marketplace, today announced its latest consumer sentiment research focused on autonomous vehicles (AVs). The CarGurus Self-Driving Vehicle Sentiment Survey compiled and analyzed consumer feedback on AV-related topics like comfort with self-driving, how people imagine utilizing the technology, and timeline to adoption.

The study has shown that a third of respondents say they’re excited for the development of autonomous vehicles, but nearly as many say they’re concerned. When asked how comfortable they were with the advancement of self-driving technology, 38% were neutral and 32% expressed excitement. According to the study, it appears that consumers still want to maintain control of a vehicle with 46% of respondents preferring to remain the driver of a self-driving car. They are least comfortable (14%) sharing the roads with self-driving delivery trucks or fleets, which is a major use case in which the technology is being deployed.

As with electric vehicles, respondents chose Tesla (34%) as the most trusted brand to work on self-driving vehicles, followed by Apple (8%) and Toyota (7%). However, nearly three in 10 respondents do not trust any brand to do so, and with 55% wanting brands to bear the responsibility in the case of any accidents, there is a long way to go to earn consumers’ trust. Tesla is also the top AV brand that shoppers would consider with 47%, followed by BMW (31%) and Honda and Toyota (each with 26%).

Despite some apprehension around self-driving vehicles, consumers still have high hopes around their capabilities. More than half (53%) of respondents would use AVs to drive them home safely when unable to do so themselves and 37% would want their AV to be able to park itself. Despite this, consumers expressed the most interest in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) like back-up cameras (40%) and blind-spot monitoring (55%), features that many cars already have (31% and 16% of drivers respectively report already owning them).

“This year’s Self-Driving Vehicle Sentiment Survey from CarGurus makes clear that autonomous vehicles’ tech offerings need to align with how people want to use them,” said Madison Gross, Director of Customer Insights at CarGurus. “While there is hesitancy around self-driving technology, how consumers envision themselves using the technology would require full autonomy – which is still a goal that the industry is striving toward. Until then, shoppers are looking for driving technology that helps them stay in control, rather than technology that takes total control.”

Additionally, the study covered:

  • Timeline to adoption, with 34% of consumers saying they will be likely to own an autonomous vehicle in the 10 years.

  • Which aspects of autonomous vehicles excite consumers, like being a huge leap in technology (44%), and which concern them, like cost (49%) and safety (44%).

The full results of the study can be found here, and all inquiries can be sent to pr@cargurus.com.

In April 2021, CarGurus surveyed 480 automobile owners in Canada through an online survey on their sentiments towards self-driving vehicles and driver- assistance features. Respondents were balanced in terms of key demographics (gender, region, income). The study has been fielded for several years in the U.S. and was also fielded in the U.K. in 2021.

About CarGurus
CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a leading global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of new and used cars. The Company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. (source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q1 2021, U.S. (Competitive set includes: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). In addition to the United States, CarGurus operates online marketplaces under the CarGurus brand in Canada and the United Kingdom. In the United States and the United Kingdom, CarGurus also operates the Autolist and PistonHeads online marketplaces, respectively, as independent brands. CarGurus also holds a majority stake in CarOffer, a digital wholesale marketplace based in Addison, Texas.

To learn more about CarGurus, visit cargurus.ca.

CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

© 2021 CarGurus, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Brian Kramer