Hankook Autumn survey finds that most Americans expect cars to become autonomous

Other survey findings include the fact more Americans would prefer to drive with Frankenstein versus Dracula and favor Bert and Ernie equally.


Hankook Tire America Corp. released findings from its Fall Gauge Index, the most recent installment of the quarterly survey. The Fall Gauge asked 998 Americans to weigh in on the latest trends in driving and travel:

The Future of Cars

More than half of Americans surveyed believe in the next 20 years that all cars will be electric or hybrid (56 percent), able to communicate with other cars on the road (54 percent), and completely drive themselves (52 percent). Additionally, when it comes to tires, the majority (75 percent) of American drivers stated that it is likely they will equip their vehicle with completely airless tires by 2033.

Airless passenger vehicle tires are a concept that Hankook Tire has been exploring as a future technology. Hankook recently revealed the Hankook iFlex, an airless tire concept which utilizes an innovative structure of organically connected spokes to absorb bumps and is constructed of recyclable, highly elasticated polyurethane synthetic materials. The Hankook iFlex concept also targets low rolling resistance, which helps to increase vehicle fuel efficiency. 

Thanksgiving Travel 

When asked about fall road trips, Americans are thinking (and stressing) about Thanksgiving. Up eight percent from last year's Thanksgiving holiday travel data, 28 percent of Americans will hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, traveling an average of 1,117 miles. Unfortunately, with all this driving, 40 percent stated that Thanksgiving traffic will be the most stressful part of their holiday, followed by potential car breakdowns (11 percent), friends and family (10 percent) and the food (9 percent).

The Ultimate Thrill Ride

Adventure is also on the mind. Thirty two (32) percent of Americans surveyed said they consider skydiving the ultimate thrill ride, followed by a ride in a race car (26 percent), white water rafting (16 percent), a roller coaster ride (13 percent), and a zip-line ride (13 percent).

The Ideal Driving Companion 

The quarterly gauge also took a lighter turn, asking Americans for their preferred road trip companion. With Halloween right around the corner, Americans' preferences trended towards the spooky. Fifty-nine (59) percent of respondents said they'd prefer to cruise with Frankenstein vs. Dracula (41 percent). In addition to the Halloween icons, Americans weighed in on road tripping with other friendly competitors:

  • Sixty (60) percent chose Stephen King as their storyteller on the road vs. F. Scott Fitzgerald (40 percent)
  • Bert and Ernie, two of the biggest 'rivals' in American culture, came in at an even 50-50 split
  • The popular 'Angry Bird' came out as the clear winner (68 percent) vs. 'Zombie' (32 percent)

"Our Hankook Quarterly Gauge Index continually sets the tone for seasonal driving trends and reveals great insight into American drivers' opinions and sentiments. These results are some of our most compelling to date." said Henry Kopacz, public relations and social media manager, Hankook Tire America Corp.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index was conducted September 18-19, 2013 by Vision Critical on behalf of Hankook Tire America Corp. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 38 percent of Americans think to 'get in a car and keep driving' is the most romantic way to get away; 37 percent said riding in a train is, and 25 percent would prefer to fly
  • 58 percent of Americans are very satisfied with their partners' treatment of their vehicle
  • 42 percent of Americans rely on themselves to conduct regular tire maintenance on their vehicle; 38 percent rely on a mechanic; 17 percent rely on their spouse; 1 percent rely on their parents

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