Commentary

Consumer Ambivalence Towards Self-Driving Cars

According to Chris Beer, recent research by GlobalWebIndex reveals internet users in the UK and the U.S. are ambivalent about self-driving cars.  Internet users in the UK and U.S. are split down the middle between enthusiasm and concern about autonomous cars.

Younger internet users are more open to the prospect of having self-driving cars on the road, whereas older internet users are more conservative.

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This is likely linked to another finding from the survey. We also asked about why consumers would be concerned or excited about self-driving cars on the road. The biggest concerns across age groups were safety factors, with hacking and unexpected situations (like weather) the biggest threats cited.

But there’s a difference in age for not trusting computers with life-or-death decisions, with 37% of 16-24s worried about it, compared to 48% of 55-64s.

The other notable demographic breakdown for these concerns is gender. Men are more enthusiastic about the prospect of self-driving cars, with women tending to be more apprehensive. Male respondents are also willing to go further in terms of the level of autonomy they’re happy to drive with; 36% of male drivers would be willing to drive a car with “eyes off” or “minds off” autonomy (what are called “level 3” and “level 4” of autonomy respectively), compared to 27% of female drivers.

The survey points out that only 10% of drivers in the U.S. would pay more than $10,000 for a self-driving car, which is quite a conservative estimate of how much more a self-driving car would cost in reality. More of them (15%) expected to pay the same amount as a normal car, though 31% were willing to pay up to $10,000 more. More revealingly, a quarter of drivers in both markets say they would never buy a car with self-driving technology.

The next 5-10 years will likely see continued investment and testing from tech companies, automobile manufacturers, and mobility providers. But as they pump billions into self-driving technology, there is still work to be done in converting those who will drive it, or share the road with it.

Find out more here.

2 comments about "Consumer Ambivalence Towards Self-Driving Cars".
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  1. Kirk Augustin from Mr., April 29, 2019 at 8:24 p.m.

    Autonomous vehicles are really silly.  They do not work at all.  No one has been able to get them to work on snow, in rain, when GPS goes down with the solar maxima, etc.  They can fake a nice demo, but they can't even navigate a parking lot.

  2. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, April 30, 2019 at 10:11 a.m.

    Self driving cars are absolutely great for 75% of our driving and I already have a couple of friends with the self-driving or at least more or less self-driving option on their Teslas.

    However, self driving cars will not be popular until we have another option. In addition to the ludicrous button on the Tesla (and if you don't know what it is, perhaps you ought to go back to driving Toyota Avalons or something) we need one that says BTW (as in Balls to the Wall) where the car cruises at 120 mph in the middle of traffic using all the radar and technology to avoid crashes. Now, that would be a self-driving car I could get behind!

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