Study: Consumer Trust in Autonomous Vehicles Rises

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Jan.16, 2018—The 2018 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study finds that consumers are becoming more receptive to the concept of fully autonomous vehicles.

The study also finds that there may be some roadblocks ahead for automakers.

Fewer people in the 2018 study feel that autonomous cars will not be safe, with less than half (47 percent) of U.S. consumers holding this view. This was a dramatic increase from 2017, where 74 percent felt that autonomy would not be safe.

“Overall acceptance of autonomous technology has grown rapidly in just a short time,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S automotive leader. “ … While the returns will be farther out, it’s important that automakers continue allocating resources to autonomous driving technology. Those who settle for a reactive mindset rather than preparing for the long term will be at greater risk as consumer acceptance for autonomous technology further accelerates.”

Seventy-one percent of U.S. respondents said they would be more likely to ride in an autonomous vehicle if they had an established safety record, up just slightly from 68 percent in the 2017 study.

More consumers are turning to trusted brands for reassurance around the safety of autonomous technologies. Sixty-three percent of U.S. consumers report they would be more likely to ride in an autonomous vehicle if it was from a brand they trust, compared to 54 percent in 2017.

Seventy percent of the Gen Y/Z population reported they would be more likely to accept a self-driving vehicle from a trusted brand, compared to 62 percent of Gen X and 56 percent of Boomer/Pre-Boomer consumers.

“The auto industry battle between brands for consumers’ trust is on in a new and heightened way,” said Giffi.

In most regions, consumers favor traditional car manufacturers to bring fully autonomous vehicles to market. In the U.S., nearly half of consumers , 47 percent, would put their trust in a traditional car manufacturer, compared to the 25 percent that would trust a technology company

Deloitte’s research also finds that consumers are not willing to pay much more for autonomous vehicles. Deloitte’s most recent consumer survey data on the topic found that in countries such as Germany (50 percent), the U.S. (38 percent) and Japan (31 percent), consumers were unwilling to pay extra money for these vehicles.

The findings were similar for electric vehicles, where 42 percent of German consumers and just over one-third of people in Japan and the U.S. said they are unwilling to cover additional costs to get alternative powertrain technology.

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