First-Hand Experience Key to Autonomous Vehicle Acceptance
September 20, 2018

The industry has a lot of work to do in helping consumers understand the benefits and trust autonomous vehicle technologies, according to the second annual Trusted Automotive Brand Study (TABS) from AMCI. Advertising alone is not going to get the job done.

Automated technology (e.g. adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, etc.) is significantly more trusted today, in large part because of the proliferation of these technologies on current vehicles. Fully autonomous vehicles have a much longer path to complete consumer acceptance.

Customer trust in automated technologies is very high at over 95%, with women under 30 having greater trust than men of the same age. However, the situation is reversed among men over 30 years old having greater trust in these technologies than their female peers. As women are responsible for over 50% of all new vehicle purchases, there is obviously a lot more work to be done.

When it comes to fully-autonomous vehicles (AVs), a surprising 55% of consumers said that they have some level of trust (or are at least on-the-fence). Men across all age groups are more trusting than women of AVs.

70% of people see the benefits of autonomy with a slight skew toward personal rather than societal. Of those interested, the choice of not driving, improved productivity, ability to do something other than drive, improved mobility for those who cannot drive and reduction in accidents are the most highly cited reasons for interest in AVs.

25% of consumers have no interest in AVs now, with lack of control, possible hacking and safety being the top three reasons for lack of trust.

There is also a surprising silver lining for traditional auto companies. Of those surveyed, 63% trust auto companies (GM, Ford, Toyota, etc.), 34% tech companies (Waymo, Apple, etc.) and 2% mobility companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to produce autonomous vehicles.

When asked what would help win consumer trust in AVs, 45% reported independent 3rd party ratings, 30% personal experience and only 7% advertising or a government recommendation.

"These results clearly show that consumers are cautiously open to AVs. In order for OEMs to reap the full potential of these emerging technologies, there is an urgent need for them to directly engage with and demonstrate the benefits to consumers. There is no alternative to personal hands-on experience, tailored to the customer’s needs as the fastest way to build trust," said Dean Leathers, Senior VP, Innovation, AMCI Global.

About the Trusted Automotive Brand Study: The AMCI Global 2nd annual Trusted Automotive Brand Study (TABS) was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2500 owners across 34 brands.