While the automotive industry continues to accelerate its self-driving and electric car plans, consumers are still not showing confidence in them.
A survey by J.D. Power found consumers have a “low level of confidence” for autonomous vehicles and a “neutral level of confidence” for electric vehicles.
Leading concerns about connected vehicles include a high fear of failure (71%) and of the vehicle being compromised while on the road (57%).
Consumers leading fears are understandable given recent headlines. On failures, technical issues have resulted in fatalities such as the infamous Uber incident which resulted in the death of a cyclist. On being hacked, it wasn’t long ago there were reports of connected vehicles from Jeep and Land Rover being compromised by white hat security researchers. Just last week, a report highlighted that a cyberattack could result in the mass control of connected cars and mentioned that Ford has already witnessed attempted hacks.
The general population also believe driverless technology is further behind in development than experts predict. Consumers believe driverless cars are around a decade away, while most industry analysts expect such vehicles on the streets in around 5–6 years.
For electric vehicles, consumers expressed their concern about current battery limitations. 74 percent said they would not be willing to wait longer than 30 minutes for a charge that will give them a 200-mile range. Consumers also cast doubt on the availability of charging infrastructure, electric cars’ reliability, and their cost.
Consumers do feel more confident about electric vehicles potential positive attributes. More than half (61%) of those surveyed said that such vehicles are better for the environment.
On a 100-point scale of overall confidence, electric vehicles just about make it into the upper-half at 55. Autonomous vehicles, however, sit at just 36.
While it’s clear the industry has some work to do when it comes to improving consumer confidence for both electric vehicles and driverless cars, it’s the latter which is going to be the biggest hill to climb.
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