Gartner Survey: 55 Percent of Respondents Won’t Consider Riding in Fully Autonomous Vehicle
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Gartner Survey: 55 Percent of Respondents Won’t Consider Riding in Fully Autonomous Vehicle

While the research and advisory firm Gartner expects to see multiple autonomous-vehicle launches by 2020, the majority of motorists might not trust the technology yet.

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While the research and advisory firm Gartner expects to see multiple autonomous-vehicle launches by 2020, the majority of motorists might not trust the technology yet.

A Gartner survey found that 55 percent of respondents won’t consider riding in a fully autonomous vehicle. However, 71 percent of respondents might consider riding in a partially autonomous vehicle.

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Concerns around technology failures and security are key reasons why many consumers are cautious about fully autonomous vehicles, Gartner noted.

“Fear of autonomous vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations, safety concerns around equipment and system failures and vehicle and system security are top concerns around using fully autonomous vehicles,” said Mike Ramsey, research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

Gartner conducted the online survey between April and May, polling 1,519 people in the United States and Germany.

Survey respondents agreed that fully autonomous vehicles offer many advantages, including improved fuel economy and a reduced number and severity of crashes. Other benefits include having a safe transportation option when drivers are tired and using travel time for entertainment and work.

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The survey found that consumers who currently embrace on-demand car services are more likely to ride in and purchase partially and fully autonomous vehicles.

“This signifies that these more evolved users of transportation methods are more open toward the concept of autonomous cars,” Ramsey said.

The percentage of people who used a mobility service such as Uber or Car2Go in the past 12 months rose to 23 percent from 19 percent in a similar survey conducted two years earlier.

However, the transition to dropping a personally owned vehicle will be challenging outside of dense urban areas, Gartner noted.

For the surveyed vehicle owners with a driveway or easily accessible parking, nearly half of them said they wouldn’t consider giving up their own vehicle, even if they saved 75 percent over the cost of owning their own car. The ability to leave at any moment is the most cited reason for not replacing personal vehicles with on-demand car services. Trust and personal safety also are top concerns.

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Changes Are Coming

Regardless of whether the public embraces autonomous vehicles, Ramsey asserted: “The experience of owning and operating a car will be dramatically different in 10 years.”

“The automotive industry is investing in new safety and convenience technology at a rate not seen since the dawn of the automobile,” he said.

Dozens of companies are currently developing sensors and other technologies required to enable vehicles to detect and understand their surroundings. As of mid-2017, more than 46 companies are building artificial-intelligence-based software to control an autonomous vehicle and make it operate in the world.

“Autonomous-driving technology will fundamentally transform the automotive industry, changing the way vehicles are built, operated, sold, used and serviced,” Ramsey said.

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