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Survey suggests public has safety concerns about autonomous vehicles

Motional, the driverless vehicle development company created by Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, has released its inaugural Motional Consumer Mobility Report, which examines Americans’ perceptions of driverless vehicles.

The study found that one-fifth of Americans are more interested in driverless vehicles than they were before the pandemic.

The survey was carried out from July 17-21, 2020, and considered 1,003 responses from US consumers sampled using a blind online panel recruitment. The overall margin of error for the research is +/- 3.02 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval).

It concluded that those who identify as “extremely knowledgeable” about driverless vehicles are seven times more likely to say they’re excited to ride in an autonomous vehicle than someone who identifies as “not very knowledgeable”.

Two thirds of the Americans who took part in the study believe that self-driving cars are the way of the future.

Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO, Motional, says: “People are more open to driverless vehicles than ever before – but seeing is believing, and this is technology few people have actually experienced.

“This report makes clear that familiarity is the key to adoption. As we get more cars on the road, we’ll bridge the gap between the perception of this technology, and the reality of how positively and permanently it will change our daily lives.”

The report revealed several key themes, as outlined below.

Safety First: Establishing confidence with consumers requires demonstrating the exceptional safety and reliability of self-driving vehicles.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say safety is the most important consideration when making the decision to use a self-driving vehicle.

However, once the safety of the vehicles are established, Americans see the potential positive impact on their lives. In fact, when asked why they would consider opting for a driverless vehicle, safety was the top reason (36 percent), followed by the prospect of multi-tasking during the ride (15 percent), and helping the driving impaired (14 percent).

From helping lead the Safety First for Automated Driving white paper, to pioneering data sharing in the industry and safely moving more public passengers than anyone else, Motional leads the industry in safety.

Covid-19 redefines transportation safety: 2020 has proven to be a pivotal year for driverless technology and the pandemic has challenged the global community to re-think transportation.

83 percent of Americans agree that access to safe, clean transportation is a public health issue and 70 percent of Americans believe the risk of infection is a real concern impacting their transportation decisions.

69 percent of Americans agree that Covid-19 has changed how cities should be planned in the future.

Nearly one in five (19 percent) Americans are more interested in self-driving vehicles now than they were before the pandemic.

A positive impact on cities and communities: Despite a need for more education about the technology, Americans appreciate the positive impact self-driving technology can have on their communities.

51 percent of Americans agree their communities haven’t done enough to increase access to transportation, and 54 percent agree self-driving vehicles could address mobility access for the underrepresented.

There is already a large market for driverless transportation – 62 percent believe self-driving vehicles are the way of the future.

The knowledge gap: As it stands, Americans generally don’t consider themselves knowledgeable about this technology – but those who do are ardent enthusiasts.

Respondents who identified as “extremely knowledgeable” about driverless vehicles are seven times more likely to say they’re excited to ride in one than those who identity as “not very knowledgeable”.

Only 13 percent identified as extremely or very knowledgeable about autonomous vehicles.

Nearly two in five Americans (39 percent) believe self-parking and self-driving cars are synonymous, highlighting consumer confusion between self-drive and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Iagnemma says: “There’s a powerful connection between education and adoption, and as driverless technology moves from nascency to familiarity, we’ll see demand increase sharply.”

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