Survey Says: Consumer Trust In Driverless Cars Is Waning7
While those who follow the developments surrounding autonomous cars may fall numb to much of the technology, everyday consumers aren’t exactly in love with the idea of handing over control to their car.
A new study from J.D. Power shows consumers are growing less trustworthy of autonomous vehicles compared to results from last year. Specifically, all age groups save for Generation Y (those born between 1977 and 1994) registered less confidence in driverless cars compared to last year.
Intriguingly, the even younger Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2004) was even less confident than Generation Y. 11 percent more respondents from Gen Z said they “definitely would not” trust self-driving cars. 23 percent more said they “probably would not” trust them, either. Maybe the internet-ridden Gen Y-ers really do have more confidence in technology after all.
Nine percent more of pre-baby boomers (born before 1946) said they “definitely would not” trust the technology compared to last year as well.
It’s the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) themselves who really don’t like the idea of robocars. A whopping 81 percent of baby boomers said they either “definitely” or “probably” would not trust driverless cars.
Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and Human Machine Interface (HMI) research at J.D. Power, offered up a bit of an explanation for the waning interest.
“In most cases, as technology concepts get closer to becoming reality, consumer curiosity and acceptance increase,” she said. However, “with autonomous vehicles, we see a pattern where trust drives interest in the technology, and right now the level of trust is declining.”
On the flip side, consumers have struck a honeymoon period with active safety features such as adaptive cruise control, rearview cameras, automatic braking and other things. These technologies may prime consumers for greater acceptance, according to Kolodge.
“As features like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and blind-spot warning systems become mainstream,” she said, “car buyers will gain more confidence in taking their hands off the steering wheel and allowing their vehicles to step in to prevent human error.”
For GM, its first major foray into driverless technology will launch this fall with Super Cruise. The system will allow for completely hands-free highway driving in the 2018 Cadillac CT6.
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Of course we Baby Boomers are skeptical – we’ve seen more promises made and broken, but younger gens are not stupid when it come to their own flesh being crunched. Remember, it’s the same people who couldn’t get the ignition switches right and others who made killer airbags that are bringing us the Self Crashing Cars! Rush to market, get the buzz, feed the ego, get the promotion, and let others sweep up the mess.
The killer air bags were made by Takata. And the ignition switch issue is gone.
Thanks, we all know that. The common thread is that people in both organizations knew there was a problem, but stayed quiet due to the pressure to launch on time. Remind you of the Space Shuttle launch that blew up because the launch temp was below freezing and the seals failed on the boosters, as engineers predicted. Management launched to project confidence. And their egos. Result – dead astronauts. Here – dead drivers.
Look at the photo of the man behind the wheel with his arms crossed -does he look totally relaxed and totally free to do anything he wants while the car does the driving? Of course not! He has to remain alert to intervene at all times. Then there’s ,”The Shiny Red Button” syndrome to contend with-how long can a person sit behind the wheel of a motor vehicle without the urge to turn the wheel or hit the gas pedal just to see what its like? Advanced safety features that aid a driver and provide an extra set of eyes, or superior braking I can get behind. But autonomous vehicles supposedly allowing one to travel carefree while playing online games, watching movies or sending emails? I just don’t get it. If you are wealthy enough to afford one of these high tech vehicles, but don’t want to bother driving, then hire a chauffeur or instead take a bus, cab, plane or train-its proven technology and takes all responsibility off your shoulders.
I am one of the “boomers” and I want an autonomous vehicle, not much for driving on highways, but for self parking and retrieval. That is the biggest issue when one drives in a large city.
Trains on tracks hit things everyday. Why can’t trains be driverless and safe? Until they are don’t even THINK of driverless cars.
They can put cameras on the front of a train that can monitor and respond to conditions on the line. The only problem is that trains have mass thousands of times greater than a car, and their inertia is also many times greater than a car.
If a train and car were traveling at 100kph and both had to respond to an obstruction in their intended path that was detected more than 250m ahead, which one do you think will able to slow or stop within the 7 seconds it would take to reach the obstruction?
Also, lets not forget that an autonomous car could also change lanes.