WAYNE, N.J. (Oct. 8, 2013) — More than half of Americans (56 percent) surveyed in Hankook Tire America Corp.'s Fall Gauge Index said they believe in the next 20 years all cars will be electric or hybrid, driving on airless tires.
For its latest index, the Wayne-based tire marketer asked 998 Americans about trends in driving and travel. The survey was conducted Sept. 18-19 by Vision Critical on behalf of Hankook.
Here are more findings from the index:
The future of cars
In addition to the anticipated all-electric or hybrid vehicle population in the U.S., Hankook said a majority of respondents believe they'll be able to communicate with other cars on the road (54 percent) and that vehicles will be able to completely drive themselves (52 percent). The majority (75 percent) of American drivers stated it's likely they will equip their vehicle with airless tires by 2033.
Along those lines, Hankook recently revealed its Hankook iFlex—an airless tire concept that uses a structure of organically connected spokes to absorb bumps and is constructed of recyclable, highly elasticated polyurethane synthetic materials. The iFlex concept also targets low rolling resistance to help increase vehicle fuel efficiency.
Up eight percent from last year's Thanksgiving holiday travel data, 28 percent of Americans will hit the road for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, traveling an average of 1,117 miles. Hankook said 40 percent of those surveyed said 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 food (9 percent).
The ultimate thrill ride
Hankook said 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 zip-lining (13 percent).
The ideal driving companion
With Halloween right around the corner, Hankook said Americans' preferences trended towards the spooky. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they'd prefer to cruise with Frankenstein vs. Dracula (41 percent).
Americans also weighed in on road tripping with other friendly or scary characters:
• 60 percent chose Stephen King as their storyteller on the road vs. F. Scott Fitzgerald (40 percent);
• Bert and Ernie, Sesame Street's popular characters, came in at an even 50-50 split; and
• The popular "Angry Bird" game 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," said Henry Kopacz, public relations and social media manager for Hankook. "These results are some of our most compelling to date,"
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; and
• 42 percent of Americans rely on themselves to conduct regular tire maintenance on their vehicle; 38 percent rely on a mechanic; 17 percent count on their spouse, while 1 percent rely on their parents.