Study: People Will Spend A Lot Of Extra Money For Their Car To Drive Itself

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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The average person is willing to spend $4,900 more for a car that has driverless technologies, according to a new study.

Some potential consumers even said they would be prepared to pay more than $10,000 for the automatic functions, the researchers at Cornell University discovered. The academics completed the study by asking more than one thousand participants hypothetical questions about vehicles related to pricing and features, like autonomous functions.

“We estimate that the average household is willing to pay a significant amount for automation: $3500 for partial automation and $4900 for full automation,” the study concluded.

Currently, there are several vehicles on the market that use some kind of automation, usually in the form of computerized parallel parking and maintaining straightness in lanes. Eventually, developers and manufacturers want to introduce fully autonomous vehicles in which human intervention will only occur during emergency situations. (RELATED: ‘Uber, Anheuser-Busch Use Self-Driving Truck To Deliver 45,000 Cans Of ‘America’)

While certain lawmakers are worried about the prospect of self-driving cars being hacked, industry experts and other researchers of the technology say there are a number of potential benefits, like decreasing the dangers of human-induced distracted driving. They also claim that due to its advantages, autonomous functionality is developing rapidly.

Ford announced in February that it invested $1 billion into a driverless car project. Uber has also been testing the technology by employing cars with driverless capabilities in several cities, despite some setbacks. Apple was reportedly in discussions with luxury sports car company McLaren in September to keep up to speed with the rest of the global business community’s autonomous vehicle projects. The President of Lyft, the ride sharing little brother to Uber, said in September that driverless car technology will grow so fast and become so popular that no one will own a car in a city in ten years. (RELATED: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ And Other Video Games May Be Key To Reducing Roadway Deaths) 

“Automation of personal transportation is becoming a reality at a faster pace than anticipated,” said Dr. Daziano, the lead author of the study from Cornell University, according to “To plan for and analyze the large impacts of automation, policymakers and car manufacturers need to understand the market. Our study is an initial attempt to quantify how households currently perceive and economically value automated vehicle technologies.”

Researchers clarify that though some people are very willing to pay substantial amounts of money for full automation, there are plenty of consumers who said they won’t pay any extra for it.

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