In China, the most optimistic of the surveyed countries, a majority of consumers still have safety concerns.Autonomous cars are presented as the next big revolution in automotive safety, but a recent survey suggests most consumers remain skeptical.Consultancy firm Deloitte surveyed more than 22,000 consumers in 17 different countries to gauge their perception of the nascent technology.
In the US, 74 percent of respondents believe fully autonomous vehicles "will not be safe." The findings were not unique among different countries; China was the most trusting at 62 percent, while South Koreans were the wariest with 81 percent of consumers expressing safety doubts.
More than two-thirds of Americans remain open-minded, reporting that they may change their mind once such vehicles have established "a proven track record."
Little more than half of US drivers said they would ride in an autonomous car if it was offered by a brand they trust. Interestingly, less than half of US respondents claimed they would trust a traditional automaker to bring autonomous cars to market.
"The news is worse for Silicon Valley technology companies with only 20 percent of US consumers indicating they trust these companies when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology," the report found. "Another 27 percent of U.S. consumers indicate they would trust a new company specializing in autonomous vehicle technology."
Japanese consumers have the most faith in traditional automakers to build safe autonomous vehicles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those in China and India had the lowest trust in established car companies.
"Automakers and technology companies first have to earn consumers' trust, then turn that trust into a willingness to pay for a must-have feature," said Deloitte vice chairman Craig Giffi. "Automakers are under significant pressure to invest more heavily and place bigger bets with less certain returns than we have seen in this industry in several generations."