Continental: Germans Increasingly Skeptical of AV Tech

A Continental study shows German people are growing increasingly wary of autonomous vehicle technology.

The component maker has carried out a survey in the country which has found 57% of Germans “doubt the technical reliability” of AVs, up from 48% five years ago. The company posits a spate of “accidents” in US test drives as the likely cause of this change in sentiment. A survey published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in May found an even sharper spike in wariness of AVs among American road-users, with US test crashes also posited as the cause in that instance.

However, Continental’s Mobility Study 2018 also found around two thirds of German respondents reported a desire to be driven through stressful and/or tedious situations like traffic jams and roadworks automatically. This echoes the findings of Cox’s US Automotive Mobility Study, which found in August that 49% of respondents had no desire to ever purchase a Level 5 AV, but 54% thought semi-autonomous driving tech like collision warning and avoidance systems had made humans better drivers.

Continental CEO Dr Elmar Degenhart said the survey showed “trust in new technologies for the mobility of the future is of enormous importance. New developments must therefore be introduced onto the roads in a responsible way. The technologies have to be safe, robust, and reliable”. He also claimed it revealed “many drivers are completely unaware that accident figures are already being drastically reduced by current driver assistance systems such as emergency brake assist, blind spot warning systems, and lane-keeping assistants. As understanding increases, so too does acceptance”.

American, Japanese, and Chinese road-users were also surveyed. 50% of American respondents said they considered AVs “a sensible development”, up from 41% in 2013, along with 89% of Chinese respondents (up from 79%), and 68% of Japanese respondents (up from 61%).

 

 

 


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