As General Motors continues marching toward introducing its first mass-production fully-autonomous vehicle next year, the automaker and its rivals may have some work to do first in building consumer trust.
In a recent survey, nearly half of all respondents said that they would never buy a fully-self-driving, Level 5 autonomous car. That’s up from the 30-percent of respondents who answered similarly when the same survey was conducted two years ago. And the shift isn’t just due to preference; the share of respondents who said that they believe roads would be safer if all vehicles were fully-autonomous has decreased by 18 percent over two years, and nearly 85 percent of respondents said they feel that humans should always have the option of taking the wheel, even in a fully-autonomous vehicle.
Overall, while consumer awareness of autonomous vehicle technology is up by 24 percent, according to the survey, perception of its safety is down by 20 percent.
These findings come from Cox Automotive – the parent of such resources as Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, which also provides auto auction and vehicle wholesale services. This year’s survey relied on the responses of 1,250 automotive consumers in the United States.
“People now have a deeper understanding of the complexities involved when creating a self-driving car, and that has them reconsidering their comfort level when it comes to handing over control,” says Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book Executive Publisher Karl Brauer. As a result, a majority of survey respondents today say they’d prefer Level 2 vehicle autonomy – partial autonomy like we have today, with two or more advanced driver assist technologies working in tandem – to Level 4.
Level 4 autonomy was the preference two years ago. The label denotes a car that can complete an entire journey on its own without human intervention, but typically only within a finite geographical area or below a certain speed.
Worth noting is that Cox Automotive’s recent survey is not the first to suggest that public trust in autonomous vehicle technology is waning rather than growing. Last year, surveys from J.D. Power and Gartner, Inc. showed the same downward trend in consumers’ faith in AVs.
(Source: Automotive News)