The self-driving car — we’ve talked about it before on these blog pages, and with fresh news about how nobody wants one, we thought we’d bring it up again. According to this post from Yahoo!, most drivers seem to have no interest in ever owning a car that pilots itself.
A new study from the University of Michigan finds that only 15.5% of drivers say they’d want to own a fully autonomous vehicle once the technology becomes available.
That’s very low, given how much publicity self-driving cars have been getting.
Google (GOOGL) and Tesla (TSLA), two highly admired companies, have been promoting their research into self-driving cars for several years now, while just about every automaker is working on autonomous technology and trumpeting their own advances.
Autonomous driving features have come a long way in a short time, but the technology still has a long way to go- possibly decades- before it’s commercially viable. And it has a long way to go before people accept the technology in their vehicles. The study shows us auto manufacturers should focus on alertness aids and driver assistance technologies (lane departure/blind spot/adaptive cruise control/forward traffic monitoring).
In the Michigan survey, 38.7% of drivers said they’d prefer a “partially self-driving” car, while 45.8% said they’d want no self-driving capability at all. The biggest perception problem seems to be safety, with 66.6% of drivers saying they’d be very or moderately concerned about riding in a self-driving car. Only 9.7% said they’d be unconcerned.
The research shows a huge gap in the perception of self-driving cars between the technical experts creating them and the ordinary folks who would presumably buy them. The gap doesn’t mean self-driving cars are doomed. What it does mean is that there are major misapprehensions about autonomous vehicle technology, with a lot of consumer education still required.
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Photo: Marketing in automotiveAuthor: FLLegalGroup