Jetson's Autonomous Car

Automotive Companies Move To Autonomous, But How Do Consumers Feel?

In Car News, Technology by Sara Dean

In recent months, there has been an exciting buzz regarding autonomous, or self-driving vehicles. From Google and Apple, to Tesla and Audi, many companies auto manufacturers and tech companies alike, have entered their hat into the Jetson generation of vehicles. The news is exciting for automakers and tech companies, but how do consumers really feel about the self driving robots?

Many Americans feel like self-driving cars are for the lazy drivers, the rich, and the Jetsons. It appears that there is a lack in the appeal of driving an autonomous vehicle. Since connected vehicles are already available in the market today, including advanced braking systems, cameras, driver assistance features, and infotainment systems, consumers do not feel an urgent rush to buy a robo-vehicle.

Harris Interactive released a survey they completed, which included 2,276 participants, in November of last year show divided results on autonomous vehicles and connected cars. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed believe that self-driving vehicles are the way of the future, while almost a quarter of those surveyed believe that they are something out a Jetson’s cartoon. Nineteen percent think they are “insanely cool,” while twenty-two percent said they are definitely something they would like to own.

Thirty-four percent of those surveyed agree that autonomous vehicles are an “unnecessary luxury,” and thirty-two percent believe they will only be in reach for the super rich. Thirty percent believe that self-driving vehicles are for lazy drivers, while twelve percent believe they are just plain “confusing.”

A quarter of participants just didn’t see the point of the vehicles, and many of those surveyed believe the vehicles wouldn’t be worth it due to the cost of maintenance and repairs. They feel that with the complexity of the technology, computer glitches, and higher insurance costs, that the benefit of the autonomous vehicles is outweighed by the costs. Forty-eight percent of respondents feel that these vehicles would be safer, while fifty-two percent believe they would be a danger to drive. Only twenty-two percent said they would buy an autonomous vehicle once the “bugs” have been fixed, while 17 percent will buy once the price is reasonable.