Gen Z: The Lever for New Vehicle Technology
April 27, 2021—A new report from Allison+Partners suggests that changing definitions of transportation and an influx of new mobility solutions are paving the way for the birth of a new culture: the mobility culture.
Resulting from the intersection of transportation and technology, this cultural shift will be driven forward by a new generation of consumers—those just now coming of driving/ride-sharing age. Much in the way Baby Boomers in their teens and twenties defined American car culture, Gen Z will ultimately become synonymous with mobility culture.
The study, dubbed The Birth of Mobility Culture, also explores implications for brand marketers as consumer values shift from “me” to “we” and access to new mobility options increase. The report, based on a survey of U.S. consumers fielded in January 2019, reveals a clear shift in consumer attitudes, values and behaviors between generations and with more transportation options available than ever before.
Key findings that highlight this shift include:
- Cars remain at the center of today’s transportation equation, but how they’re used is changing. While roughly 70 percent of licensed Americans drive their vehicles daily, 38 percent of those without a driver’s license say they have no need for one. With Gen Z, the numbers become even more significant—nearly 70 percent of Gen Z respondents do not have their driver’s license and 30 percent of those who do not currently possess their driver’s license have no intention or desire to get one.
- Car culture shifts from “me” to “we.” Younger generations, including Gen Z, have begun to see automotive benefits that move beyond convenience to relaxation and social experiences. When asked why they would purchase an autonomous vehicle, Gen Z consumers cited relaxation as a primary factor (65 percent)—almost equal to convenience (67 percent).
- For Gen Z, the car has become less aspirational. Gen Z sees cars more as appliances than any other generation, with more than half of Gen Z respondents (56 percent) indicating a car represents essentially no more than a means of transportation.
- Technology and transportation have become synonymous. The excitement for autonomous technologies is driven by Gen Z, due largely to a high trust level with technology. Ultimately, 60 percent believe they will use autonomous vehicles by 2029.