Self-Driving Cars: What to Do with All That Spare Time?

Drivers say they will likely be using the phone, eating, reading
books and watching movies.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It appears that semi-autonomous cars may not always be carrying a driver
who’s alert and ready to take over control of the vehicle if necessary,
according to a new survey from State Farm®.

State Farm conducted the survey to examine drivers’ knowledge,
attitudes, and potential behaviors regarding autonomous and
semi-autonomous vehicles. This survey was the second iteration of a
study first conducted in September 2013.

Autonomous cars can drive themselves without any human involvement.
Semi-autonomous cars include automated features but may still require
human operators in some circumstances.

The survey asked drivers how much more, or less, likely they would be to
engage in certain behaviors when a semi-autonomous vehicle is driving
itself compared to when they are driving the vehicle. Knowing that there
may be circumstances where the driver may need to take over control a
semi-autonomous car, survey respondents said they would more likely be:

  • Eating – 48 percent
  • Reading texts – 45 percent
  • Sending texts – 43 percent
  • Taking pictures – 36 percent
  • Accessing the internet – 36 percent
  • Tending to children – 32 percent
  • Recording videos – 26 percent
  • Watching movies – 21 percent
  • Reading a book – 19 percent

The survey findings were released during a presentation yesterday at the
annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “Drivers
need to be aware that there may be unexpected and critical situations
when they will need to be in full control of their semi-autonomous car,”
said presenter Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State
Farm. “This survey shows that people want to do things other than drive
during their trips; there is a need for education so that consumers
understand the capabilities and potential limitations of their automated
systems, and what’s required of the driver.”

Additional findings: more awareness and more confidence in technology.
to three years ago, considerably more drivers have heard of self-driving
vehicles. And though they did not show an increased interest in
purchasing a fully automated car, compared to three years ago consumers
are more confident in the ability of self-driving cars to navigate
safely on their own.

Although wide use of autonomous vehicles is years away, cars with some
automated features are already available, and most survey respondents
are knowledgeable about those features.

Consumers most want automated backup assistance and drowsy driving

Respondents were provided with a description of
technologies that included backup assistance, parking assistance,
adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, lane departure assistance,
automated braking and drowsy driver detection. While they were at least
somewhat familiar with them all, the features they were most interested
in were backup assistance and drowsy driving detection.

They see that vehicle-to-vehicle technology can improve safety.
technology allows the car to communicate with other nearby vehicles.
Roughly half of respondents think vehicle-to-vehicle technology would be
useful in increasing safety and would be interested in having a car with
this technology.

Full report
Full survey findings and additional assets are
available at

In September 2013 and June 2016, the State Farm
Strategic Resources Department used an outside panel vendor to conduct
an online survey of U.S. consumers ages 18+. Survey responses were
received from approximately 1,000 consumers each year, who identified
themselves as having some insurance and financial responsibility for
their household. Of the total respondents, only those who reported
having a valid driver’s license were used in the analyses in this report.

About State Farm®:
The mission of State Farm is to help
people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected,
and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest
providers of auto,
and individual life
insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000
employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81
million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2
million bank
accounts. Commercial
auto insurance
, along with coverage for renters,
, boats
and motorcycles,
is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the
parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No.
35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more
information, please visit


State Farm
Missy Dundov, 309-766-7087