Self-driving cars: What exactly are people looking forward to?

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Published: May 11, 2019 1:40:22 AM

Capgemini has identified two groups displaying particularly positive sentiment towards autonomous cars—Chinese consumers and millennials.

Consumer excitement for autonomous vehicles soars but barriers remain. (Representational Image)

A new study by the Capgemini Research Institute has found that consumer preference for riding in self-driving cars is set to double within the next five years. While only 25% of consumers would prefer to ride in a self-driving car over a traditional vehicle in 12 months’ time, over half (52%) say driverless cars will be their preferred mode of transport by 2024.

These findings have been published in the report “The Autonomous Car: A Consumer Perspective.” The positive response from consumers suggests they see huge benefits with autonomous vehicles in terms of fuel efficiency (73%), reduced emissions (71%) and saving time (50%). Such is the sense of optimism and anticipation, over half of consumers (56%) say they would be willing to pay up to 20% more for an autonomous vehicle over a standard one.

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The findings also point to a changing perception of mobility; consumers believe autonomous cars will take on a larger role in their daily lives, going beyond the act of driving to also have autonomy in running errands and completing chores. Almost half (49%) of respondents to the study would be comfortable with self-driving cars running an errand on their behalf, more than half (54%) would trust an autonomous vehicle to drop off or pick up non-driving friends and family members, while one in two (50%) expect self-driving cars to help them save time to pursue other activities—such as socialising, entertainment, working, or simply enjoying the journey.

Capgemini has identified two groups displaying particularly positive sentiment towards autonomous cars—Chinese consumers and millennials.

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Markus Winkler, global head of Automotive at Capgemini, said: “Most conversation to date has focused on the technological evolution of driverless cars—so it’s encouraging to see the potential benefits that the technology enables are resonating with future passengers. However, a degree of uncertainty and concern remains, and auto companies must consider the expectations and fears of their future customers while transforming their own operations from a heavy product focus to services and customer orientation, as they bring autonomous vehicles to the market.”

For this study, Capgemini Research Institute talked to 5,538 consumers across six countries in Europe, North America and Asia in December 2018, and 280 executives from OEMs, suppliers and tech companies.

The full report can be accessed here:

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