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Driverless car safety fears on the decline – Deloitte

Consumers take a fancy to driverless cars, despite primary concerns over safety.

By April Slattery

Consumers have made a complete U-turn when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology, as driverless taking the top spot over electric vehicles.

According to a new study by Deloitte, consumes are becoming increasingly confident in the use and safety of autonomous vehicles.

The research found that under half (49%) of respondents believe self-driving cars will not be safe, compared to almost three quarters (73%) in the survey last year. This brings tremendous positivity amongst the technology sector, as more businesses race to develop the technology.

Deloitte’s survey found that the positivity from consumers was put down to trustworthiness of those companies investing and developing the technology. Over half (53%) of respondents said they have more confidence in the vehicles because of the brands that are building them, stating they are more likely to ride in them because of that factor. This figure has increased by almost 10% from last year at 44%.

Furthermore, it become even more apparent that the driving factor to embracing autonomous vehicles was trust after 51% or respondents admitted they would trust traditional car manufacturers to implement the technology over technology companies, which only 21% trusted.autonomous cars

“The significant improvement in consumer trust in autonomous vehicles is a critical step in progressing driverless technology.  Although driverless cars are still at an experimental phase, building consumer trust in the industry will be a key step in its future success,” Mike Woodward, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said.

An interesting finding from the survey was the comparison between trusting electric cars and autonomous. Respondents of the survey admitted that they preferred engine powered vehicles, with almost three quarters (73%) feeling this way in comparison to a measly 2% that would prefer electric to have as their next purchase.

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The main factors respondents referenced to not wanting to invest in an electric vehicle included the driving range (26%), price of vehicles (24%) and lack of charging infrastructure (22%) in most cities. However, despite these factors in the long-run 37% of respondents admitted that lower on-going costs would encourage them to consider an electric vehicle.

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Deloitte’s research found that traditional views were very high amongst respondents, as another area rate highly was the element of customer experience when buying a car. Just less than three quarters (71%) rated customer service as an important factor, in addition to 60% admitting to buying from the same dealer again following good customer experience. These figures coincide with the ethos of trusting a traditional manufacturer, rather than technology.

The fear around using autonomous vehicles has seemingly been squashed, but the UK government is still launching an inquiry into the safety of the vehicles ahead of a highly expected roll-out in years to come.


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