vehicles may sound like an innovation that will solve our mobility woes, but
the fact is that people don’t want it the way it has been perceived. People not
only have a lack of trust in safety technology but say they have an emotional
‘attachment’ to car ownership. These two factors could act like impediments to
a future of vehicle sharing and self-driving cars.
to a new study in the UK, it could be at least 10 years before autonomous
vehicles, and the sharing of them, will become part and parcel of society.
This, combined with a perceived lack of prestige in not owning a vehicle,
suggests that the majority of today’s motorists aren’t yet ready for mobility
concepts of the future.
study Being Driven: A study on human adoption of autonomous vehicles, by
Neckermann Strategic Advisors, in collaboration with specialist agency 7th
Sense Research UK Ltd., finds that humans are today not ready to make a ‘double
leap’ of faith when considering future personal transportation.
the automotive and tech industries looking toward the greater integration of
autonomous technology into mainstream cars, the new survey illustrates the path
required for buyers to embrace the concept of self-driving cars. One of the
study takeaways highlights that an increased communication of the benefits of
AVs is vital to combat the fear of the unknown and inspire the greater level of
trust required for widespread end-user acceptance.
survey revealed that 75% are not comfortable with, or undecided, about future
adoption of AVs, along with strong resistance to a future of shared car
ownership. Fergus McVey, 7th Sense Research UK Ltd. CEO, explains: “The
prospect of shared ownership – giving up what’s often seen as a mechanical
member of extended family – and a skewed perception of what AV technology
offers, is too much for a large majority of the UK to consider in one step. The
industry needs to communicate the message that AVs are being developed to make
your life better, not more complicated, less flexible or to jeopardise any
sense of freedom.”
Neckermann, Managing Director of Neckermann Strategic Advisors and co-author of
the study adds, “Consumers need to be inspired by the benefits of AVs instead
of being flummoxed by the technology. The promise of enhanced journey safety,
convenience and dependability is much more compelling than endless discussions
on the trolley-problem and number of miles driven in autonomous mode.”
study also shows that 60% of respondents would favour a private use, private
ownership model as being the most appealing way of accessing autonomous
transport. This is at odds with the previous industry assumption that shared
ownership would form the core of future mobility. Neckermann suggests, “It’s
time to engage more with the consumer.”
Sense was commissioned to survey more than 3,000 UK residents, using a nuanced
survey rigorously compiled to create data that could be analysed to reveal
societal expectations for future mobility. The Neckermann study complemented
the survey with extensive global research and interviews with governing bodies,
vehicle manufacturers and autonomous vehicle technologists, among others.
John, co-author of the Neckermann study, said: “Globally, we’re becoming less
resistant to change. Electricity and radio took 40 and 20 years respectively to
cross the 80% penetration threshold, whereas smartphones and social media took
under a decade.
these technologies did not replace items with an emotional attachment. Fax
machines didn’t have nicknames, bring your first-born back from the hospital or
go on family holidays. For consumers to detach themselves from this emotional
connection in favour of the unknown, they first have to understand how AVs can
enhance their travel experience.
an industry need to have a single, unified and strong voice to promote
autonomous mobility technology towards the public and generate future end-user
engagement. We look forward to engaging with partners from around the industry
to build this strong community.”
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