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Survey: Consumers Eager for Self-Driving Cars, but Concerns Remain

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July 22, 2021

In a new survey of consumers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, a large majority (72.5%) said they would use a robotaxi service, and more than half expect fully functional self-driving cars are more than three years away. However, consumers remain concerned about malfunctions, avoiding obstacles, and software security of the vehicles.

Sponsored by edge intelligent software maker Klas, the survey showed growing eagerness for consumers to try the new technology – for example, 20% said they would be willing to pay an additional $10,000 to get their hands on the technology. 

Additional survey results showed:

  • 25% of respondents are excited about the potential for self-driving vehicles to run their errands and deliver groceries right to their home;
  • 22% said they believe adoption of autonomous vehicles will increase human productivity and be more environmentally friendly;
  • 30% of British and German respondents are looking forward to not having to park their own cars again with convenient vehicle drop-off and pick-up;
  • Americans are hoping to see fewer accidents on the road with the implementation of autonomous vehicles;
  • More than 20% across all three countries are concerned AVs won’t know how to avoid unexpected obstacles in the road;
  • 20% are worried about the vehicle’s system malfunctioning during traffic
  • Germans are worried about software security, with 22% expressing concerns about vehicles being hacked;
  • 20% of all respondents said they believe fully self-driving cars are already available to the general public, with that number increasing to 31% when you look at Americans only;

“The Klas commissioned AV consumer sentiment survey shows there is a misalignment with consumer expectations and AV development timelines,” said John Gallagher, CEO of Klaas. “While the respondents are eager to experience autonomous driving, consumers have major concerns about the technology.

For example, “nearly a quarter of respondents indicated concerns that vehicles wouldn’t know how to avoid unexpected obstacles in the road,” said Gallagher. “The result is that AV developers need to continuously evolve and assess autonomous drive systems with real-world scenarios, with results being made transparent to the public. Transparency not only demonstrates the AV developer’s commitment to safety, but aligns to the evidence-based regulations coming down the road.”


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