Your Self-Driving Car is Waiting… Sooner Than You Think

Google CarThis article was published in Forbes Auto May 26, 2016

Tustin, California May, 2016: Autonomous (self-driving) vehicles are all the rage right now. Technology is moving so fast that automakers, suppliers, regulators and insurance companies can see the time in the not-too-distant future when autonomous vehicles are available for sale. Of course, various levels of autonomy are available now including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, cross traffic warning; the list goes on. Even more design, development work and testing needs to be done before fully autonomous vehicles are viable.

Consumers will represent only a part of participants in self-driving vehicles. They may be more hesitant to accept the technology quickly, but some other applications may find quicker acceptance. Think other, even wider, applications… taxis, couriers, delivery vehicles, over the road tractors. During the next century the need for a paid driver likely will diminish if autonomous technology finds wide acceptance.

To get an idea of consumer acceptance, AutoPacific, an automotive specialist research and product planning consulting company, surveyed over 1,100 vehicle owners in the United States to determine their interest in autonomous driving vehicles.

F015 Mercedes Self-Driving CarAwareness High Over 90% of the respondents are aware of autonomous or self-driving vehicles. Over half of these learned of autonomous vehicles from TV news, a newspaper or a magazine article. About 45% are aware of Google’s self-driving car efforts.

AutoPacific asked if the respondents would be interested in riding in an autonomous vehicle, using one or owning one.

Riding In a Self-Driving Vehicle About 42% say they would be interested in riding in an autonomous vehicle with interest highest among the youngest respondents (GenY 49%). This could be an example of interest in the TaxiBot concept being talked about in Los Angeles where autonomous vehicles would replace manned taxis and provide reliable transportation at a very reasonable cost without a driver.

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