Consumers Still Fearful of Driverless Tech

Fear and skepticism among consumers remain the biggest challenges towards mass adoption of autonomous vehicles, according to a survey of automotive technology leaders.

The study found 37% of industry leaders believe consumers are skeptical about autonomous vehicles, while 24% said they even fear them. The survey conducted ahead of TU-Automotive Detroit 2019 polled more than 100 automotive technology decision makers from around the world.

In a bid to allay consumer fears, 38% wanted to collaborate with other industry professionals to get their message across, while 27% suggested more involvement with government regulators to craft effective laws around autonomous vehicles. Technology collaboration is quickly becoming a big issue for many industries, as data and artificial intelligence begin to make their presence felt. A quarter of survey respondents ranked ‘sharing road hazards and conditions in real-time’ as the most important knowledge the industry should be sharing, while 15% felt that the automotive sector should be sharing details of where crashes occur in order to increase learning across the board. Agreeing on an industry-wide autonomous HD mapping standard was supported by 13%, while 12% ranked ‘sharing HD map information to increase total geographical coverage’ as the most important.

On a more positive note, 70% of leaders said they believe consumers will accept autonomous vehicles within 15 years while the same number also said they believe car ownership will decrease in the next decade. Instead, the respondents said, consumers will make more use of autonomous public transport and ride-sharing apps, bringing car ownership down. In view of this 44% said they believed this would decrease traffic congestion, despite other experts suggesting the reverse would be true, and 34% said it would reduce the number of miles driven overall as people take advantage of a connected transport ecosystem.

Just under half listed public transport fleets, such as buses, as the vertical which will be most impacted by autonomous vehicles in the next decade, while 45% said ride-sharing was the most likely place where consumers would encounter the technology for the first time. Out of the public transport domain, 27% of respondents identified the long-haul trucking as the most likely industry to be impacted by the rise of autonomous technology, whereas 16% thought on-demand delivery vehicles for food and packages would be the most disrupted.

Technological hurdles, meanwhile, are not so much of a concern, with only 10% listing cyber-security or network connectivity as a barrier to progress and adoption by consumers. Just 6% believe V2V communication is an issue.


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