Australians are looking forward to self-driving cars, even if they have been slow to adopt other smart technologies. At least, that’s the takeaway from a new survey from Toluna and Harris Interactive, which found that nearly 50 percent of Australians are interested in investing in the technologies that will be needed to create autonomous vehicles.
That figure is considerably higher than the comparable numbers in the U.S. and the U.K., where interest levels are only 31 percent and 38 percent, respectively. It’s also somewhat at odds with Australia’s own apathy towards smart technology more generally, with only 57 percent reporting that they have used smart technologies.
It’s worth noting that the press release focuses primarily on wearables, smart speakers, and other devices that are not yet regarded as everyday necessities. In other words, it’s unclear if the 57 percent figure includes smartphone usage.
With that in mind, the survey nevertheless suggests that the current audience for new smart technologies is limited in Australia. Thirty-one percent still don’t own any kind of wearable, smart appliance, or voice assistant device, and 33 percent have never used a smart speaker like Siri or Alexa. By the same token, around half would be uncomfortable with the use of technologies like facial recognition in retail and advertising.
“Although Australians are familiar with new technologies and the benefits they provide, there is a line drawn when it comes to how far they are willing to allow technology to penetrate their lives,” said Stephen Walker, Toluna’s Business Development Director for Australia. “They do not want to be marketed to more heavily. However, when it comes to mundane tasks such as parking a car, they are much more willing to embrace technology.”
Australians displayed the most interest in smart speakers, smart light bulbs, and smart appliances. The results were generated based on a survey of 513 consumers.