If a self-driving car and a human-controlled vehicle were sat side-by-side in a dealership, how much would you be willing to pay for autonomy?
According to a new study from the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), over 40 per cent of Australians and New Zealanders would be happy shelling out more cash for an automated vehicle.
The preliminary findings from the ARRB survey of attitudes toward self-driving cars reveal 22.8 per cent of people expect to pay less for an automated car, 34 per cent are happy to pay the same amount, and 43.1 per cent are willing to pay more for full automation than they would for a human-driven vehicle.
Of that 43.1 per cent, the average Australian would stump $14,919 over an equivalent human-driven car for full automation, compared to just $8716 for those in New Zealand.
Given these are preliminary findings, exactly why that is hasn't been fully explored, but Mitchell Cunningham, senior professional scientist at the ARRB, suggested more Australians have been exposed to semi- or fully-autonomous vehicles than their cousins across the Tasman.
While we're talking demographics, men were willing to spend $12,069 more for autonomy on average, while women pushed that figure to $17,711.
"This was a weird finding for us," Cunningham said, speaking at the International Driverless Vehicle Summit in Adelaide.
Men have shown greater willingness to engage with autonomous technology in previous studies, so the fact they want to pay less for the technology is an odd outcome. It'll be borne out better when the full research report is released.