New report from the Center explores
the future of transportation

The Center has unveiled a first-of-its-kind study on the future of transportation — a project that explores the spectrum of American behavior and views about their cars, public transit, reasons to give up driving, new competitors in the automobile industry, distracted driving, and the arrival of self-driving cars.

“Most research covers the transportation revolution from an industry perspective, but our new study focuses on the actual behavior and attitudes of the U.S. population,” said Brad Berens, chief strategy officer for the center and project lead for the Future of Transportation Study.

“Automotive research typically looks at car buyers; we are just as interested in Americans who don’t have their own cars or who are thinking about giving up their cars.”

Download the Future of Transportation Report here.

The Future of Transportation Study explores more than 100 issues involving behavior and views about cars, their alternatives, and emerging needs for technology.  Among the highlights of the findings and extensive analyses from the study that are included in the 42-page report are:

  • Reasons why Americans would give up driving
  • Interest in self-driving cars as alternatives to driving
  • Use of get-a-ride services (such as Uber or Lyft) and alternative-access programs such as ZipCar or Car2Go
  • Distracted driving
  • Views about digital technology in cars
  • Self-driving vehicles (cars and public transit)
  • Internet connectivity while driving
  • Future car technology
  • Views about technology companies such as Google or Apple entering the car business

New industry-specific studies by the center 

The Future of Transportation Report is the first of a series of new studies by the Center for the Digital Future that focus on industries that are dependent on evolving digital technology.  The center’s report on transportation will be followed by its study on banking in November, and health early in 2018.

“These reports expand on the center’s 17 years of unique work on the impact of digital technology on American life,” said Jeffrey I. Cole, founder and director of the center for the Digital Future.   “The results reveal the current behavior and views of Americans, which serves both as a reality check on the worldview constructed by the media, and also as a source of insight and inspiration that companies can use for their planning.”

The Future of Transportation Study included 1,000 participants drawn from a representative national sample, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

The Center for the Digital Future

Since 1999, the Center for the Digital Future ( in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has examined the behavior and views of a national sample of internet users and non-users in major annual surveys of the impact of the digital technology on America.

The center’s Digital Future Project is the longest continuing research of its kind, and was the first to develop a longitudinal panel study of the views and behavior of internet users and non-users in the United States.  The center also created and organizes the World Internet Project, which includes similar research with 32 international partners.

To view any of the center’s reports, visit

September 20, 2017