Consumer awareness of, and confidence in, automated vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems: 2020 Public opinion research study

Author(s): GUPTA

Slidedeck Presentation:

Slide deck link



Transport Canada was interested in understanding how AVs and ADAS are being received by Canadians and whether they are having the safety benefits that we might expect. It also wanted to understand how Canadians may respond to AVs once they are present on Canadian roads.


This presentation will share findings from public opinion research commissioned by Transport Canada to measure Canadians’ confidence in and expectations of automated vehicles (AVs), including the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) currently available on the market. When used properly, some ADAS technologies can reduce the severity and frequency of vehicle collisions, and greater use of these features can make Canadian roads safer.


This study followed Transport Canada’s 2019 study on the same topic, allowing us to establish year-over-year data. It was conducted in two phases: a survey of 2,500 Canadians aged 16-80 in December 2020, followed by an online message-board style discussion January 2021 with 159 participants responding to a series of open-ended questions.


Study results showed that half of respondents reported being familiar with ADAS technologies, although 85% had heard of at least one existing feature. Less than half had experience using ADAS. These rates were similar to or slightly higher than in 2019. The demographics most likely to be familiar with ADAS and AVs were men, those with higher education levels and those with higher incomes. Respondents who were familiar with ADAS were more likely to agree that these technologies make our roads safer. When it comes to fully automated vehicles, many respondents were skeptical, largely due to a lack of knowledge about these vehicles. They were not convinced that AVs make roads safer and many believed that these vehicles are not cyber secure.


The 2020 findings are being used to shape Transport Canada’s public awareness messaging with the goals of increasing Canadians’ familiarity with ADAS and encouraging them to use these technologies properly.


The department is also using this information to support standards and regulations development, as well as in-house research.