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Cars Still Rule in the U.S., Says Recent Continental Study

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Continental AG's latest Mobility Study confirms that personal vehicle usage is the important method of transportation for United States residents.

"The sixth edition of the technology company’s study finds that the majority of U.S. respondents are 'traditional' drivers," say Continental officials. "They prefer to be behind the wheel, in control of their own car."

 “While the results of the Mobility Study are not necessarily new findings, the attitude toward private car ownership has seemingly strengthened in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Robert Lee, president, Continental North America.

“In fact, there has been a clear international trend toward private transportation. While it’s growing more prevalent across the world, the U.S. has a particular affinity for traditional driving.”

The study surveyed drivers and non-drivers in the United States, Germany, France, Japan and China. Of the U.S. respondents, 77% said that they "like to be in the driver’s seat when riding in a vehicle – the second highest total of all countries surveyed," according to Continental officials. 

"Owning a car is also particularly important in the U.S., with 88% of respondents saying they prefer to have their own car to drive."

“Traditional driving doesn’t mean that drivers don’t want technology in their vehicles," says Lee. "We actually see that many drivers want to have new, emerging technology in the car. They just don’t want to relinquish control of their vehicle to it.

"Many people simply aren’t ready for fully automated driving yet," he adds. "However, a building block approach can help them get there, allowing drivers to get comfortable with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and experience its lifesaving potential in phases.”

Despite some reservations, overall, more consumers are open to the idea of using autonomous vehicles, according to the study.

"The number of skeptics who feel automated driving will never work properly has greatly reduced from 75 % in 2018 to 52% in 2020. And 46% of U.S. respondents say they prefer the latest technology in their vehicle, while 32% are eagerly awaiting automated driving features – a slight increase from 2018.

"However, respondents’ belief that automated driving can help prevent vehicle crashes continues to hover right around 50%.

“We are encouraged to see a large drop in those who are concerned about automated driving reliability," says Lee. "Most drivers increasingly see the value of safety systems like ADAS. However, in the U.S., they are still slow to accept the idea of a fully automated system.

"We believe there are a number of reasons for this. One major factor is a lack of understanding of how ADAS or automated technology works, which can lead to confusion about the benefits and – equally important – limitations of such features. We are committed to helping address this.”

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