Although manufacturers and suppliers are currently working full tilt on the topic of autonomous driving , many people remain skeptical. According to a study by Ernst & Young (EY), only 26 percent would be unreservedly prepared to have the car do all the driving, as confirmed by the findings of a study by the auditors and consultants at Ernst & Young (EY), while almost one in three people (31%) categorically reject this.
"Only if we succeed in making the technology so safe that it is actually superior to human drivers will fully automatic driving become established on the mass market," says EY partner Peter Fuss. According to the study, almost two thirds of Germans (65 percent) anticipate a breakthrough for the technology. However, respondents also expected it to take a good while for autonomous cars to establish themselves in the German marketplace.
Survey respondents saw the greatest hurdle in what they believed to be unsafe technology (67 percent), and just under half of them were critical of unresolved liability issues. 41 percent were of the opinion that the use of autonomous cars would take the fun out of driving. In a similar survey four years ago, only 44 percent thought the technology was too unsafe.
Media coverage and public awareness of autonomous vehicles have both gone up considerably, explains Fuss, adding that "people have consequently become aware of the technical problems which were always there." According to the study, women are more reserved than men about the safety of such vehicles: While 72 percent of men believe in the breakthrough of autonomous driving, this figure drops to only 58 percent for women.
It is also interesting to note that German carmakers enjoy the greatest trust among established manufacturing industries in the eyes of respondents. 57 percent of respondents believed that safe and reliable autonomous vehicles would most likely be developed by a German manufacturer – despite potential competition from technology giants like Google and Apple.
According to Fuss, this is partly due to the engineering know-how which is already available: "Numerous assistance systems come from Germany or are installed in the premium models of German manufacturers," he said. In today’s state-of-the-art factories, large quantities could be produced and individualized model variants are also thinkable, he added.
According to Roland Berger's "Automotive Disruption Radar", 45 percent of respondents worldwide are interested in autonomous driving. The authors of the study warn however that: "If Germany and other European countries don't want to miss the boat, legislatures must act quickly to support new traffic concepts and innovative mobility solutions.”