ANSYS Study Measures Consumer Perception on Autonomous Aircraft

Through the survey, ANSYS measured consumer sentiment around the future of autonomous aircraft.

Through the survey, ANSYS measured consumer sentiment around the future of autonomous aircraft.

Seventy percent of consumers say they are ready to fly in autonomous aircraft in their lifetime according to a comprehensive global consumer survey commissioned by ANSYS. ANSYS’ Global Autonomous Vehicle Study explores consumers’ comfort levels and concerns with self-flying aircraft. 

Through the survey, ANSYS measured consumer sentiment around the future of autonomous aircraft. Highlights of the survey include:

  • Timeline for Adoption: While 70% are ready to fly in an autonomous plane in their lifetime, only 58% are willing to board a self-flying plane in the next decade. Twelve percent insist on waiting longer than 10 years. 
  • Consumer Fears: When asked to select their greatest concerns with autonomous flights, respondents said they are most concerned with technology failure (65%) and autopilot responding to external conditions, such as bad weather and turbulence (57%). 
  • Traveler Confidence: Of those surveyed, 71% had no fears about a safe take-off, and 76% were unconcerned with an autonomous landing. 
  • Awareness of Autopilot: Only 7% realized the extent to which planes are currently autonomous. When respondents were informed that only the first and last 10 minutes of their most recent flight were likely controlled by a pilot and the rest was autonomous, 36% said that they would feel much safer in a fully autonomous plane. 
  • Millennial Perspective: Younger consumers are more willing to fly autonomous; 83% of 18- to 24-year-olds are willing to fly in an autonomous plane in their lifetimes, compared to just 45% of those over 65. 

  • Security: Of those surveyed, 39% believe that an autonomous plane is the hardest technology system to hack, compared to bank accounts (27%), smartphones (17%), computers (14%) and self-driving cars (12%). 
  • Commute of the Future: More than half of respondents (63%) said they would definitely or probably be willing to ride in a flying taxi. 

“The findings of this research are encouraging for the entire aerospace industry — people are ready for a new era of air travel,” says Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager, ANSYS systems business unit. “Digital safety solutions will play a major role for manufactures meeting customer demand. Building on our 20-year history of providing world-class certified embedded software critical for aircraft safety, ANSYS enables faster, more effective testing and validation — empowering industry leaders to bring autonomous aircraft to market faster and more safely.” 

Survey Methodology

ANSYS commissioned Atomik Research to field an online survey of 22,041 adults aged 18+ in 11 markets (the United Kingdom, United States, DACH, France, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Sweden, Japan, China, India). The research fieldwork took place been April 26 and May 7, 2019. In accordance with 

Market Research Society guidelines and regulations, the margin of error fell within +/-2% at a confidence level of 95%. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

Read an autonomous by air feature here.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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