How interested are Northwest motorists in owning driverless cars?

According to the 2016 PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, a majority of drivers (58 percent) believe driverless cars will be legally allowed on city streets and highways within the next decade, but surprisingly few – just one in three Washington and Oregon drivers – say they’re very interested in owning one, even if the price tag isn’t an issue. Instead, significantly more – about 40 percent – say they’re not interested in owning one at all.

Younger drivers, however, are more eager for autopilot. Two-thirds of drivers under age 35 think driverless cars will hit the streets in less than 10 years, and they’re twice as likely to say they’re very or extremely interested in owning a self-driving vehicle compared to their older counterparts (47 percent vs. 23 percent).

How about you? Would you be interested in letting a car do the driving for you?

As you may know, there are several different companies working to design a vehicle that can drive itself around without the help of a person to do the driving. How many years do you think it will be before these driverless cars are allowed on city streets and state highways without a driver behind the wheel?
Total OR
5 4 Within the next year
22 22 Between 1 and 4 years from now
31 31 Between 5 and 9 years from now
18 18 Between 10 and 14 years from now
15 15 15 or more years
9 10 Don’t know
Right now, assuming price was not an issue and it was legal, how interested would you be in owning a driverless car for your own use?
Total OR
18 16 Extremely interested
16 17 Very interested
23 21 Somewhat interested
19 19 Not very interested
22 25 Not at all interested
2 1 Don’t know
Those who are younger are significantly more interested in owning a driverless car than are their older counterparts. About one-half of those under 35 in both states are at least very interested compared with about one-quarter of those 35 or older.
< 35 35 +
23 13 Extremely interested
25 13 Very interested
19 22 Somewhat interested
16 20 Not very interested
15 29 Not at all interested
2 3 Don’t know

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold to consumers by the method they choose – phone, local community agents, or online. For more information, visit

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