US consumers have indicated they would be more interested in using a car with an autonomous driving system developed by a tech company than a traditional car maker.

Google Autonomous Prius - 1

In a study conducted by US advisory firm KPMG, drivers from Los Angeles, Chicago and New Jersey said they would be more willing to drive a self-driving car employing a system developed by Apple or Google, rather than one by Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz or Nissan.

Respondents were asked to rank their willingness to use an autonomous-driving system developed by certain brands on a scale of one to ten. Consumers rated Chevrolet and Nissan at five out of 10, Mercedes-Benz 7.75 and Apple and Google at eight.

Mercedes-Benz S500 Intelligent Drive 4

Drivers from California were the most positive overall about autonomous driving, giving the concept nine out of a possible ten points. New Jersey drivers assigned their overall willingness six points, and Chicago drivers said theirs was four out of 10. The study suggested this may be attributable to patterns of traffic and congestion in the cities respondents were from.

The study also found luxury car drivers to be the most willing to adopt autonomous-driving technologies, as they were more likely to have already been exposed to advanced driver-assist options.

Development of autonomous driving systems has been progressing throughout the automotive industry since Google last year announced its autonomous driving systems had covered more than 500,000km on public roads. Last month, Mercedes-Benz announced a highly-specced S Class drove 125km by itself and Nissan's semi-autonomous Leaf received approval to test on public roads in Japan. California is also one of three US states, next to Nevada and Florida, to have passed laws permitting the use of autonomous cars.

Unsurprisingly, the group of respondents least keen on the idea of autonomous cars were those who identified themselves as driving enthusiasts. However, even they were able to be swayed by the prospect of reduced commute times and an option to disable the system.

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