To Drive or Be Driven?

Research Strategy Group international recently used our Crowd Intelligence platform to ask US consumers about autonomous vehicles. The results indicate that US consumers see a strong probability (75%) that commercially viable self driving cars would be available for purchase within 3 years. This notably high probability is driven by positive sentiment related to self driving vehicles as a long awaited and welcome mobility option. Most consumers appear to have faith that they will be safe and reliable. The positive reaction we see in our results generally mirrors industry forecasts. IHS Markit, the well-respected business trend forecaster, claims we are on the cusp of significant availability of autonomous vehicles and mobility services in the next few years. They estimate that up to 33 million autonomous vehicles may be on the road globally by 2040. It seems very likely that the US will lead in the adoption of autonomous vehicles for individual owners, while Asia will dominate in the area of autonomous mass transit vehicles used for ride hailing and mobility services.

Notwithstanding the consumer anticipation and positive industry forecasts, there is, in America, a very significant factor that may slow the growth of autonomous vehicles. In recent years the number of Americans who are concerned about autonomous vehicle reliability and safety appears to be growing. Our crowd registered only a 48% probability that Americans will entirely move away from personal car ownership as autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, and transit options become more available. This probability is informed by the feeling amongst many Americans that autonomous vehicles will never live up to their promise and have doubts that they will ever be as safe as human directed driving.  As autonomous options gain ground there is sure to be a polarization of opinion. Many Americans will embrace the new mobility options, but a significant proportion may stubbornly hold onto the notion that they prefer to “drive” rather than be “driven”. For this latter group it seems that maintaining personal control and autonomy with respect to their transportation is a priority.

For more information on how you can use Crowd Intelligence to move your business forward, please contact Pam Harrison pamharrison@rsginc.net or Brian Cash briancash@rsginc.net

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