If you were to sum up the emotions of German drivers, it would be that they are stressed out by traffic jams – yet still enjoy driving – and see themselves as ‘Superman at the wheel’. According to the 2018 Continental Mobility Study, two-thirds of motorists – especially those living close to large cities – find congested roads and traffic jams stressful. However, an equal number of respondents still enjoy driving and consider themselves good or very good drivers.

While the number of stressed drivers in Germany has remained at a high level over the last 5 years, the figure in Japan has increased from 50 to 64%. In addition, more than half of drivers in the USA find driving stressful, around the same number as 5 years ago. By their own account, the Chinese are more relaxed, with the proportion of motorists complaining about traffic jams remaining unchanged at 40%.

It is striking that in all 4 countries, the stress factor among passengers is almost as high as it is among the drivers themselves – and even higher in China, where the figure for passengers is 47% compared with 40% for drivers.

Traffic conditions in Shanghai

“Intelligent mobility solutions and automated driving features are an effective way of reducing the stress factor. Thanks to total connectivity, drivers are more relaxed, which ultimately puts the fun back into driving. The driver retains control over whether to drive themselves or be driven,” said Helmut Matschi, the member of the Continental Executive Board responsible for the Interior division.

Despite the high level of stress, the figures for those who state that they still have fun while driving remain unchanged at around two-thirds of respondents in Germany (64%) and the USA (62%). Among Chinese motorists, 69% now say that they enjoy driving, compared with 48% in 2013.

For the Japanese, however, the fun has worn off. With 43% stating that they enjoy driving, this represents a fall of 14% compared with 5 years ago. It is also clear that traveling by car leaves most passengers cold, too: In Japan, only 9% of passengers enjoy traveling by car; in Germany, the figure stands at 43%, while in the USA and China, around one in three passengers state that they enjoy traveling by car.

When it comes to rating their own ability at the wheel, drivers in the USA are in a class of their own: 83% of American drivers consider themselves ‘good’ or’ very good’ drivers. In China, this figure is 69% and in Germany, 66%. The Japanese are the exception at 25%. The statements have hardly changed at all over the past 5 years although back then, many more Japanese respondents – around 50% – considered themselves ‘very good drivers’.

69% of drivers interviewed in China considered themselves ‘good’/’very good’ drivers but the number in Japan was only 25%.

Despite increasing congestion in major cities worldwide, only in China do a majority of respondents (55%) expect driving bans in city centres. The figure stands at 40% in Germany, 20% in the USA and just 9% in Japan.

For the 2018 Continental Mobility Study, a representative survey of drivers in Germany, the USA, Japan and China was conducted, along with experts from the world of science and research as well as from the automotive industry who were also interviewed.

This makes the study one of the most comprehensive of its kind worldwide on the acceptance of advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving.

[Chips Yap]


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