2019 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study

Advanced vehicle technologies and multimodal transportation 

The Report

As part of a series study on automotive consumer behaviour, this year's study covered a survey on over 25,000 consumers in 20 countries. This article explores opinions regarding a variety of critical issues impacting the automotive sector, including the development of advanced technologies. The overall goal of this annual study is to answer important questions that can help companies prioritize and better position their business strategies and investments.

Viewpoints / key findings

  • Consumers “pump the brakes” on interest in AV. As the technology gets ever closer to scalable, real-world application, consumers are questioning if autonomous vehicles (AVs) are safe, which is causing some people to take a more cautious approach to the idea, more than half of the consumers want their governments to exert a significant amount of control over the development and use of AVs. In Asia Pacific, consumer perception of how safe self-driving vehicles are has stalled in the last year as reports of accidents have had a significant effect. However, consumers in China remain generally positive about the potential benefits of self-driving vehicles, with over 80 percent saying travelling in a fully self-driving car will be a positive experience.
  • Electric vehicles finally showing potential to scale. Interest for alternative powertrain technology is growing across the Asia-Pacific region, with highest interest in China and Japan, where 65 and 59 percent respectively would prefer hybrid, battery or other alternative for their next vehicle. (Figure 1) China in particular has been quickly putting the pieces in place to drive global EV growth to address pollution problems, reduce its reliance on imported oil, and stake a leadership claim on the next era of global mobility.

Figure 1:Consumer powertrain preferences for their next vehicle

  • Consumer opinions are mixed for connectivity while interest in time-saving features is high, (Figure 2) but significant concerns remain over privacy and data security. Some people would choose the OEM to manage the data being generated and shared by the vehicle, but a lot of people would choose anybody else. Other than Australia, consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are generally willing to pay in order to gain access to a vehicle with advanced connectivity features. Over 90 percent of Chinese consumers would pay more for a vehicle that can communicate with other vehicles and road infrastructure to improve safety.

Figure 2:Percentage of people interested in each connected vehicle feature

  • Mobility revolution faces significant headwinds. The mobility revolution seems to be running up against entrenched consumer behavior, as consumers remain committed to private car ownership, ride-hailing slows, and multi-modal transport is used only occasionally. Yet the data uncovers a clear generational divide, revealing that the shared mobility future hinges on younger people who are typically more comfortable embracing digital technologies.

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