Annual Ford trend study finds changing views on AI, sustainability

The results indicate a drop in the number of people changing their behavior to fight climate change, as well as a general wariness around AI technology.

Ford sign in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford Motor Company has completed its annual trends report. It’s a survey weighing public sentiment on a range of topics, not limited to just the auto industry.

The manufacturer uses the results internally to advise strategies across the company. The report covers topics such as work-life balance, artificial intelligence and sustainability — which over the years has informed Ford’s investment in electric vehicles.

Listen: Miguel Mancilla, trends and futures senior manager for Ford, outlines findings of the automaker’s 2023 trends reports

Artificial Intelligence

According to the report, about 60% of people think artificial intelligence will become essential by the year 2035. In the process, 68% of respondents think it will lead to joblessness for others, while only 39% think it will impact their own employment.

Miguel Mancilla, trends and futures senior manager at Ford, says the results could be explained by roughly 50% of people not fully understanding what artificial intelligence is.

“Over half [of people] mention they are afraid of AI,” said Mancilla. “That was an 11-percentile difference since 2019.”


The study finds that 84% of people around the globe think it’s important to actively fight climate change. Despite that, there has been a 5% drop in the number of people actively changing their behavior to combat the issue since 2020.

Mancilla says about 64% percent of adults will only embrace sustainable initiatives if the inconvenience is small or non-existent.

“So if it’s easy, I’ll do something about,” said Mancilla of the outlook of many survey takers. “But if it’s going to be a little inconvenient, or complicated or expensive, then I’ll think about it a little bit more.”

“People are worried about not having enough infrastructure to support EVs.” — Miguel Mancilla, Ford Motor Company

Mancilla says that viewpoint seems to define electric vehicle trends as well. The report finds that almost half of survey takers think that other people should drive an EV, while only 4% actually drive one themselves.

“People are worried about not having enough infrastructure to support EVs,” says Mancilla. “On the other hand, people are waiting until other people that they know of buy their first EV.”

He says 56% of individuals fall into that category.


The study finds nearly 70% of people globally view traditional roles as a benefit to the family unit. At the same time, an almost identical amount of people think society should do more to support non-traditional families.

The concept of what defines a family is also changing.  More than 60% of people don’t view marriage as a necessity, while Mancilla says about 57% of people don’t think having children is necessary to having a complete family.

“We also see that there is growth in pets,” said Mancilla. “It seems that somehow pets are replacing children in some families.”

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.