Despite Media Hype, Autonomous Vehicles May Not Be In Public Favor

Image Credit (Mauser)

All of us in the EV market, and thus possibly interested in autonomous vehicles as well, may be somewhat alone when it comes to shared interests. Current reports are showing that the general public may not be so excited about their cars driving themselves.

Vice President at Bosch confirmed:

“Technologically, we will be ready for automated driving within this decade. But it will take well into the next decade to convince consumers.”

Most drivers are reportedly not convinced that having their cars driving themselves is what is wanted. J.D. Power, EY consulting, Texas A&M Transportation Institute,  Canadian Automobile Association, and Kelley Blue Book, along with Bosch, all agree that autonomous cars is not what the general population wants or needs. People like driving their cars, despite traffic or headaches etc. Reports validated:

“75% of the more than 2,000 people surveyed by Kelley Blue Book said they don’t think they will ever own a self-driving car. In the EY study, only 40% said they would ever use an autopilot feature like that used in Tesla automobiles.”

Despite user’s opinions Audi, Volvo, Mercedes, Cadillac, Chrysler, Google and possible upcoming Apple ventures, are all diving very deeply into self-driving technologies.

Although analysts continue to speculate huge growth for autonomous vehicles, there is little proof yet. It is much unlike electric cars, where government emissions standards are pushing the issue, and government incentives are aiding the process. It is not as if the government NEEDS this technology. However, if statements like Elon Musk’s about the safety of the technology compared to humans are verified, governments would be smart to support the cause.

A study showed that 66% of drivers are willing to let the car drive as long as they can take over at any time. Only 40% would be willing if the human can’t interact. The problem with this is that in the pursuit of fully autonomous vehicles, more safety lies in the computer doing all of the work. Once a human starts engaging and going against the system’s decisions, it could be catastrophic.

Texas A&M senior research scientist, Johanna Zmud, explained:

TRUST  “is a big issue that will go away as people become more experienced with the technology.”

Her student said:

“I’m going to have to find some way to cope. I hope there will still be communities of people like me who like to control the vehicle. But we might not be able to drive that car on the street.” 

All in all, younger people generally have more trust for computers and technology. They also didn’t live in an era where much of life wasn’t automated or “online”. They didn’t own or drive loud smokey muscle cars with manual transmissions or no power steering. However, the people that would be more likely to be in the market for a new, fancy, expensive car may be of the older generation. J.D. Power says only 23% of Baby Boomers trust autonomous vehicles, compared to 55% of Generation Z.

Source (Gas 2)

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