Morning Consult Poll: Dems, Biden Voters, Union Members Support Autonomous Vehicles

Left-leaning constituencies support development, testing, deployment of AVs

Oct 4, 2021

Democrats, Biden voters, and labor union members are strongly supportive of autonomous vehicle (AV) development, testing, and deployment, according to a new national Morning Consult survey commissioned by Chamber of Progress.

Full Survey Results Here

The survey shows that while about half of all adults (53%) support AVs being tested in their state, a larger majority (62%) of Biden voters would like to see AVs tested in their state. Three quarters (75%) of labor union members polled supported AVs being tested in their state. Similarly, while a slim majority of the general public (53%) said they were ready to ride in an AV now or in the next five years, a larger majority of Democrats (60%) and three quarters of labor union members (75%) said they would be ready to ride in an AV in the same time period.

“Self-driving cars will be a game changer for wheelchair users, the blind, seniors, and communities with food and transportation deserts,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “People see AVs as improving their lives and communities, and want policymakers to speed up their deployment.”

Key Survey Findings:

  • 62% of Democrats and 75% of union members say they are either ready to ride in an AV now or will be ready to ride in an AV in the next one to five years. That compares with 53% of the general public.
  • A majority of all adults (53%) say they support AVs being tested in their state.
  • A majority of Democrats (54%) and two thirds of union members (68%) say they support proposals in Congress to increase AV development and deployment.
  • Turning to the benefits offered by AVs, respondents were most persuaded by the increased mobility that AVs can offer to non-driving communities.

Currently, federal regulations limit the number of AVs any company can deploy to 2,500 vehicles per manufacturer. Earlier this year, Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Thune (R-SD) proposed legislation that would raise the cap on AV deployment more than thirtyfold, putting self-driving cars on the roads sooner.

On the benefits of AVs, the general public (63%), Democrats (69%) and union members (73%) are most persuaded by evidence that AVs strengthen accessibility and independence for non-drivers, including wheelchair users, the blind, seniors, and those living in transportation deserts. The National Federation of the Blind argues that blind and low-vision people will be one of the largest beneficiaries of autonomous vehicle deployment.

Majorities of both Democrats (56%) and union members (55%) support the government providing skills training for drivers for new positions, with nearly half of those respondents supporting aid to help identify new positions for impacted workers.

The poll was commissioned by Chamber of Progress and conducted by Morning Consult between August 31-September 4, 2021 among a national sample of 2,200 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of voters based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2%.

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