Majority of people do not trust self-driving cars, except millennials: JD Power study

11% more Gen Z (post millennials) consumers and 9% more Pre-Boomers (born between 1930-45) say they "definitely would not" trust automated technology

By: | Published: April 19, 2017 1:26 PM
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A recent study conducted by JD Power has revealed that maximum consumers do not trust the self-driving technology, however almost all welcome driving assistance systems. Furthermore, the study said that only there was one section in the society which was more open to trying autonomous vehicles – millennials. The JD Power 2017 US Tech Choice Study underlines that people's distrust in autonomous technology will pose a great challenge for the car manufacturers currently working on the self-driving tech. The study was conducted in January-February 2017, and is based on an online survey of more than 8,500 consumers who purchased/leased a new vehicle in the past five years.

"In most cases, as technology concepts get closer to becoming reality, consumer curiosity and acceptance increase," said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at JD Power. "With autonomous vehicles, we see a pattern where trust drives interest in the technology and right now, the level of trust is declining."

Compared with 2016, 11% more Gen Z (post millennials) consumers and 9% more Pre-Boomers (born between 1930-45) say they "definitely would not" trust automated technology. However, similar to the 2016 study, consumers this year show great interest in collision protection and driving assistance technology.

Six of the top 10 features that consumers were most interested in before learning the price—smart headlights, camera rear-view mirror, emergency braking and steering system, lane change assist, camera side-view mirrors and advanced windshield display—come from these two categories.

(PRNewsfoto/JD Power)

The study also revealed that Gen Z has the highest interest in ride-sharing or co-ownership. Also, consumers are not so keen on convenience and entertainment features, as compared to pre-price interest (wanting to spend on the feature before knowing the price) shown in driving-assistance features like collision protection.

Gen Z consumers have a fairly high interest in digital key technology, which eliminates the need for a physical key or key fob and is replaced by a smartphone or smartwatch. A total of 40% indicate they definitely would like digital key technology on their next vehicle, and 58% are willing to pay $250 for it, compared with 28% among all consumers.

(PRNewsfoto/JD Power)

"Along with collision mitigation, there are many benefits to autonomous vehicles, including allowing those who are unable to drive in today's vehicles to experience freedom of mobility," Kolodge said. "Interestingly, though, 40% of Boomers do not see any benefits to self-driving vehicles. Automated driving is a new and complex concept for many consumers; they'll have to experience it firsthand to fully understand it. As features like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and blind-spot warning systems become mainstream, car buyers will gain more confidence in taking their hands off the steering wheel and allowing their vehicles to step in to prevent human error."

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