Car Buyers Likely to Welcome Autonomous Vehicles, Survey Says

Autopilot

A significant number of consumers show a positive attitude toward driverless cars and are anticipating the introduction to the new advanced mode of transportation / Photo by: Emilio Labrador via Flickr

 

A significant number of consumers show a positive attitude toward driverless cars and are anticipating the introduction to the new advanced mode of transportation, according to a survey by consulting group Capgemini.

Capgemini asked over 5,500 consumers and 280 automotive executives to determine consumer expectations and the steps carmakers are taking to meet those demands.

According to Automotive News, the survey found that consumers' trust was a bigger help to automakers than to startups in offering safe and reliable self-driving cars. The consulting firm also found that consumers are more optimistic compared to auto executives about surpassing the challenges and obstacles surrounding autonomous driving.

"It's not just safety and the technical aspects of autonomous cars that will determine their adoption rate—it's also the consumer experience," Markus Winkler, vice president and global head of automotive at Capgemini Consulting, told Automotive News.

Winkler said engineers and researchers had to work together with marketers and experts on user-experience in order to produce self-driving vehicles that are able to meet customers' needs. The Capgemini added that consumers should also have a say on such discussions.

"They expect to be safely transported, but they also expect the convenience and the customer experience that autonomous driving is promising them."

Moreover, the survey stated that consumers also expect self-driving cars will be able to cut down on travel time—about six and a half hours a week. Some 63 percent of respondents said they would use that spared time to socialize with friends and family, be it online or face-to-face, while 45 percent said they would catch up on extra sleep.

Other key findings include:

• Difference in the perception of self-driving cars between auto executives and consumers.
• Areas to build greater consumer trust like vehicle security and safety.
• Attitude towards driverless cars varies by country and region (China possesses positive views while Britain is more skeptical).
• Consumers are willing to spend more for self-driving vehicles.
• The outlook will become more positive over time (25 percent said they would ride a driverless car now, while 50 percent would do so in five years).

Capgemini said it's easier and faster to adopt and ease the transition to self-driving if automakers keep their consumers updated about developments, understand their needs, reassure them, and focus on software competencies.