2019 Global Automotive Consumer Study: BE Insights

Consumer interest in autonomous vehicles stalls amid safety concerns

Autonomous vehicles (AV) are a game changer for the automotive sector, as they will address a much broader consumer population than today.

Consumer appetite for self-driving vehicles is however lagging behind the automotive industry’s pace of investment in advanced vehicle technology. A series of high-profile incidents may have contributed to the plateau in consumer trust, but gradual acceptance is expected to be the long-term trend. Clear and undisputed improvement in safety, cost, convenience, and superior customer experience from a trusted brand are needed to ensure faster consumer adoption of connected, electrified, and autonomous vehicles.

Trust appears to stall

Consumers continue to be positive about autonomous vehicles (AVs), however the momentum of positive change has slowed significantly in the past year. In 2019, 43 percent of respondents believe that fully self-driving cars will not be safe, a slight decrease compared to last year’s 50 percent. That is drastically different from consumer sentiment in 2017, when 69 percent voiced concerns about these vehicles’ safety.

Media reports impact perceptions

Public safety concerns and recent accidents involving self-driving vehicles have made consumers wary of advanced technologies. Fifty-three percent agree that media reports of AV accidents make them cautious of the technology.

A question of trust

Consumers increasingly trust new companies that specialise in self-driving vehicles to bring fully self-driving technology to the market. The number of consumers who said they trust traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring AV technology to market continues to slip, falling from 48 percent in 2018 to 31 percent in 2019.

Regulatory oversight is a must

Eighty-seven percent of consumers think the government should be involved in the development and use of autonomous vehicles by providing oversight and standards.

Get there quick

The most important aspect of mobility is minimum travel time. Consumers also consider spending the least amount of money to get to their destination an important aspect of the travel experience.

Benefits of connected vehicles

Even if it means sharing either their own personal data or the data generated by the operation of their vehicle, 74 percent of respondents are interested in getting updates regarding traffic congestion and suggested alternate routes. Two-thirds of the consumers are also interested in benefits such as collision detection, safer travel routes, and maintenance updates.

Data sharing concerns

Approximately 40 percent of Belgian consumers are concerned about data related to biometrics, apps, and vehicle location being captured via a connected vehicle and shared with external parties.

Willingness to pay for tech

Thirty to forty percent of consumers will not pay more for connected tech. However, half of consumers indicate they would be willing to pay something to gain access to the technology.

Regular ride-hail use drops

While only 2 percent of people use ride-hail regularly in 2019 compared to 7 percent in 2018, there has been a significant increase in the number of people who use the service on an occasional basis.

Future car ownership in doubt

When asked whether they questions the need to own a vehicle in the future due to use of ride-hailing services, Gen X consumers are slightly more willing to give up car ownership than other generations.

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