Most Americans Don't Trust Car Companies To Make Self-Driving Cars

Consumers are not ready to embrace autonomous driving and don’t trust car companies to make self-driving cars, according to a recent report from Deloitte.

In the U.S., nearly three-quarters of consumers said they believe fully autonomous vehicles will not be safe, according to the report, which focused on attitudes in six countries: the U.S., Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, and India. South Koreans expressed the most skepticism, with 81% of consumers surveyed reporting safety concerns.

The data indicate that automakers, which already face mounting pressures to invest in unproven self-driving technology, may have even less financial leeway. The majority of respondents said they were not willing to pay more than $500 for various advanced vehicle technologies, and many said that the costs for in-vehicle connectivity and customized, real-time infotainment features should be included in the sticker price.

“It’s a genuine dilemma for automakers,” Craig Giffi, vice chairman and U.S. automotive industry leader at Deloitte, noted in the report. “Many of the technologies automakers are investing heavily in today are not considered useful, safe, or preferred by the consumers we surveyed, and under very few circumstances are they willing to pay anything extra for these technologies. The desire for safety features seems to be the lone bright spot.”

 

 

Of the six countries surveyed, China is the most enthusiastic about adopting more self-driving features, with consumer interest rising 4% since 2014, the report said. Interest in autonomous vehicle technology rose 3% in the U.S. but fell or flattened in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and India.

However, less than half (47%) of Americans said they’d trust a traditional car maker to bring autonomous vehicles to market; 20% said they’d trust an existing Silicon Valley-based company; and 27% said they’d trust a new company that specializes in autonomous technology.

In Japan, home to Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, 76% of consumers said they’d trust an automaker to develop autonomous vehicles.