The results are pretty well defined.

When it comes to autonomous or “self-driving” cars, the genie really can’t be put back into the bottle. They are coming at some point in the future, whether we like it or not. And, a recent survey done by MaritzCX, has provided us with an interesting take on how people actually feel about them. Based out of Lehi, Utah, MaritzCX surveyed 12,353 vehicle owners between the months of May and August of this year. Of which, 94 percent (about 11,611 people) admit that they are aware that self-driving cars are coming, but nearly half of those surveyed – 48 percent – have little to no interest in actually owning one.

What’s more, is the fact that the study shows people who own luxury vehicles are the most interested in owning autonomous cars. At the top of the list was Mercedes and Infiniti owners, with 27 percent of Mercedes and Infiniti owners showing interest in owning a self-driving car. Toyota, Chevy, Honda, and Ford fill in the middle with 20 to 22 percent of owners showing interest in self-driving cars. Only 16 percent of BMW owners are interested while Jeep and Ram owners are the least interested, with just 9 and 7 percent of owners interested in the technology.

Shawn St. Clair, the survey author and Global Syndication Director at MaritzCX, said, “The luxury-vehicle owners are more willing to accept this technology because they believe safety would be much better in these types of vehicles. If you’re interested in doing some off-roading in a Jeep or a Ram, you’re not interested in an autonomous vehicle.”

Of course, it makes complete sense that those who prefer Jeep or Ram-branded vehicles aren’t looking forward to self-driving technology. There’s nothing fun about letting a vehicle drive itself period, let alone off road. With Mercedes and Infiniti at the top of the list, it still leaves a question or two to be answered. For instance, is it just the feeling of safety that entices luxury car owners to be interested in self-driving technology? Also, why is BMW so far down on the list? Keep reading to dive into that a little deeper.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

Something I’ve noticed about those who own Mercedes and Infiniti models is that they care more about the luxuriousness of the vehicle over the performance of a vehicle. Sure, that comes off as stereotypical rationalizing, but it seems to be the general case across the board. Self-driving technology is something that is looked on as a luxury at this point. Of course, the most advanced system at this point is Tesla’s Autopilot, but autonomous technology was originally introduced by other brands like Mercedes on flagship or high-end trim levels.

This also, in one aspect, explains why BMW owners are some of the most reluctant to give up the steering wheel. BMW owners seem to look at performance and motorsport heritage a lot differently that those who drive comparable models from Mercedes, for instance. To back up this claim, I tend to see a lot more drag and drift cars with a Bimmer badge than I do similar cars with a Mercedes badge. Furthermore, one of the biggest things holding people back from accepting autonomous technology is the fear of component failure and liability in the event of such a failure. Will owners be held accountable of their self-driving car has a brain fart? Or, will the liability fall back on the automaker?

Transitioning into a world where autonomous cars will be widely accepted is going to be a slow-going process. But, what do you think? Have I misinterpreted why Mercedes and Infiniti owners are the most willing to put their lives in the hands of a self-driving car? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!

Source: Bloomberg

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