Report finds trust in autonomous technologies falling

Jan. 7, 2019
A new report found the public’s trust in autonomous vehicle technologies is waning.

LAS VEGAS. The public’s trust in autonomous vehicle technologies is waning, according to a new report.

The “2019 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study” found that only 39% of U.S. consumers trust traditional original equipment manufacturers to bring these technologies to market, down from 47% in 2018.

“Autonomous vehicles have begun to enter the real world in pilot testing and have consequently encountered real world challenges,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte and U.S. automotive sector leader.

Deliotte’s survey included over 25,000 people across 20 countries. The report was issued on Jan. 7 as the 2019 CES show got underway.

Even in Germany, where trust in manufacturers has traditionally been solid, only 33% of survey respondents expressed confidence in the ability of OEMs to bring autonomous vehicle technologies to market.

“A series of high-profile incidents may have contributed to the plateau in consumer trust in this year’s study, but there will likely be a longer-term trend toward gradual acceptance,” said Giffi. “Even so, consumers have a much higher bar for acceptance of fully-autonomous vehicles than for driver assistance safety technology.”

While there may be a trust gap in autonomous technologies, there remains strong interest in connected features including congestion tracking and on-highway safety alerts.

The study also found more than 70% of respondents from the United States expressed a desire to find ways to get their destination in the least amount of time. However, nearly as many expressed concerns about the data being shared with external parties. 

Additionally, one-third of U.S. consumers said they do not want to pay more for a connected vehicles, while 42% suggested a willingness to pay up to a $500 premium.  

“Connected, electrified, and autonomous vehicles offer tremendous value for society, but consumers may be slow to adopt these advanced technologies at scale until there is clear and undisputed improvement in safety, cost, convenience, and superior customer experience from a trusted brand,” said Joe Vitale, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and global automotive sector leader.

To help bridge the trust gap, a large percentage of consumers in most nations indicated they wanted “significant” government oversight, including 56% of U.S. consumers.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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