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Ford releases 2019 Trends Report: Fear and technology drive change

Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67% of adults would opt for the self-driving car.

That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.

Change is not always easy – particularly when it is driven by forces outside of our control.  In a global survey of 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Ford’s research revealed that 87% of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change.  And while 79% of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence. Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.  

“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futuring manager. 

Here are a few key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:  

-Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change and 7 in 10 say that they are energised by change

-87%  agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change and almost 8 in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good

-45% of adults globally reported that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices

-7 out of 10 consumers agreed that we should have a mandatory timeout from our devices  

Ford’s Trend Report serves as a blueprint for understanding how key patterns of consumer behaviour around the globe are expected to influence consumers and corporations in 2019 and beyond.

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Here are the 7 Trends for 2019:  

1. The Tech Divide – Technology has a profound impact on how we connect with and see the world – more than ever before. Yet, there’s an underlying tension between those who have access and believe it’s a force for good and those who don’t have access. 

2. Digital Detox – Despite being tethered to our devices, trends show that many are increasingly aware of – and alarmed by – their device dependency and seeking ways to hold themselves accountable for the time they spend online. 

3. Reclaiming Control – In a world where control feels so out of grasp for many, consumers are looking for ways to reclaim agency over their lives where self-improvement is paramount. 

4. Many Faces of Me – With social media playing such a large part in consumers’ lives, today many portray various personas – from who they are in real life to how they depict themselves online, which ultimately impacts what they buy, wear and drive, as well as their technology choices. 

5. Life’s Work – How we perceive work has changed with many global citizens now working to live, not living to work. Companies are responding in kind: with benefits, sabbaticals and extended leave being offered, as well as opportunities for mental enrichment and more. Ford believes that talent is strengthened when people are encouraged to experience the world around them and give back to the community. 

6. Eco-Momentum – While changing lifelong habits can be hard, consumers overwhelmingly agree that environmental progress will depend on changes in human behaviour and many look for guidance on how and where to improve their environmental footprint. 

7. Easy Street – The mobility journey isn’t as simple as going from point A to B, it’s about what we do with our time along the way. Americans spend more time in their cars than they receive vacation time so the ability to get things done while on the road could change the commute experience as we know it.

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