Deloitte Study: Consumer Doubt Surrounds Self-Driving Cars

A new study from consulting firm Deloitte on consumer attitudes towards self-driving vehicles has revealed lingering skepticism from many and illuminated the obstacles autonomous cars will face in the marketplace. The study examined the attitudes of people from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and India.

Interest in the vehicles may not be surging, as media reports and reveals at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) might suggest. Since 2014, interest in autonomous vehicles in the U.S. has risen three percent, and four percent in China. Interest in the remaining four countries in the study declined or stayed flat.

A majority of consumers in all countries surveyed expressed concerns about the safety of self-driving cars. This ranged from 62 percent (China) to 81 percent (South Korea) with Americans between the two at 74 percent.

It’s not all bad news for those advocating for the technology – 68 percent of Americans said they would change their mind when the vehicles have a proven track record and 54 percent said they’d ride in an autonomous car offered by a brand they trust.

However, only 20 percent of U.S. consumers stated that they would trust Silicon Valley tech companies like Google or Uber, when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. 27 percent of U.S. consumers indicate they would trust a new company specializing in the technology, rather than a traditional car manufacturer. It is unclear whether the study respondents considered Tesla a Silicon Valley tech entity or a traditional automaker; that company has been described as both and is arguably on the forefront of autonomous tech.

Read more about the report’s findings here.

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