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Evolution of Mobility Study

Autonomous Vehicles Face Consumer Attitude Problem: Cox Automotive

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Article Highlights

  1. The road to autonomous driving is suffering some significant speed bumps.
  2. Cox Automotive on Wednesday released its Evolution of Mobility Study. Among the findings: consumers are growing more, not less, skeptical of fully autonomous vehicles.
  3. Over those two years, awareness of Level 4 autonomy, rose from 40% to 64%. Level 4 vehicles are designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip, but there may be situations where the human driver must take control. But when asked if they found that capability appealing, only 17% said yes, down from 30% in 2016. Nearly half, 49%, said they would never buy a fully autonomous vehicle, up from 30% two years ago.

The road to autonomous driving is suffering some significant speed bumps.

Cox Automotive on Wednesday released its Evolution of Mobility Study. Among the findings: consumers are growing more, not less, skeptical of fully autonomous vehicles.

Separately, New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio on Tuesday signed a bill that caps the number of ride-sharing vehicles at the current level of about 100,000 for one year. The law is meant to manage congestion, and establishes a $17.22 minimum wage for drivers, whether they work for Uber, Lyft or a traditional taxi service.

First, the Cox data. The survey, conducted in May, asked 1,250 people, from age 12 on up a range of questions about their awareness of and attitudes about autonomous vehicles. Cox conducted a similar study in 2016.

Over those two years, awareness of Level 4 autonomy, rose from 40% to 64%. Level 4 vehicles are designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip, but there may be situations where the human driver must take control.

But when asked if they found that capability appealing, only 17% said yes, down from 30% in 2016. Nearly half, 49%, said they would never buy a fully autonomous vehicle, up from 30% two years ago.

That is not necessarily an indication of consumer discomfort, however, because computer-driven vehicles will be deployed in ride-sharing fleets. Those fleets are already operating on a testing basis in such cities such as San Francisco, Phoenix, Detroit, Atlanta, Kirkland, Washington, and New York.

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