By B.N. Frank
The J.D. Power survey about consumer fears was released in August. Since then, an Uber whistleblower revealed AVs are NOT safer than human drivers and that manufacturers are hiding the truth about this. And a AAA study determined that Semi-Autonomous Vehicles can’t see pedestrians and hit child-sized “Dummies” 89% of the time and adult-sized “dummies” 60% of the time DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS AND DRIVING AT LOW SPEEDS. That seems terrifying.
From J. D. Power:
The J.D. Power survey found that consumers trust auto-driving cars as much as they trust Skynet.
Survey and research powerhouse J.D. Power released the results of its Power Mobility Confidence Index, and the news was terrible for self-driving and electric vehicles. That, in turn, means bad news for Tesla, Uber, Lyft and other electric car manufacturers.
In short, the J.D. Power survey found that consumers trust auto-driving cars as much as they trust Skynet – the infamous AI network that destroys the human race in “The Terminator” film series.
JD Power’s survey is a confidence index, in which a score between zero and 40 indicates low confidence in whatever matter is being inquired about, a score of 41 to 60 means the public is neutral on the matter, and a score of 61 or higher indicates consumers are positive about the issue.
When it comes to self-driving vehicles as a whole, the J.D. Power confidence score was only 36. The two lowest scores amongst the J.D. Power survey questions were low confidence about the comfort of writing in a self-driving vehicle (which scored 34) and the comfort of being on the road with others in a self-driving vehicle (which scored 35).
When it came to safety, consumers were split 40 percent each on whether self-driving vehicles would improve traffic safety or make it worse. Age demographics didn’t matter too much on this count, with about 50 percent of both the younger and older generations in the J.D. Power survey thinking safety would be better (and therefore, 50 percent thought it would be worse).
Digging deeper into the safety category, consumers expressed a lot of worry about multiple aspects of auto-driving safety. Maybe Tesla’s auto-driving engineers got word of this survey and that’s why they bolted!
71 percent of consumers said they were the most worried about technology failures occurring. 57 percent were fearful of the vehicle they were driving being hacked, and 55 percent were concerned about liability should there be a collision.
The safety concerns are so widespread that 39 percent of consumers said they are not excited about any form of self-driving technology, and that includes public transit and delivery service.
A lack of enthusiasm over electric vehicles in the first place does not bode well for future sales. If 50 percent of the older generation, who has more disposable income and therefore more likely to buy a Tesla, distrust self-driving vehicles, that’s not going to help Tesla either.
This is also bad news for Uber and Lyft. both companies presently give up the vast majority of revenue to the drivers. As it is, price wars are forcing both companies to subsidize every ride.
Getting rid of drivers and replacing them with robots is still many years off, but based on JD Powers survey results, the use of rideshare will dramatically decline because people don’t trust Skynet – operated vehicles.
And why should they? The technology is nowhere close to being ready or accepted. Not to mention that insurance companies will have a hard time signing on.
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Image credit: Pixabay
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