The total investment in driverless technology is $100 billion to date, but money cannot necessarily buy the public’s trust.
Despite having huge potential to reduce traffic accidents, a survey conducted by OpenText last year found that 52% of consumers said that they would not buy a driverless car. Another survey found that 62% would not be comfortable sharing the road with self-driving trucks, indicating that technological progress may be outpacing public readiness.
It is clear that the industry has a way to go before it can fully win over the public, but a survey by Leasing Options of British drivers reveals that some brands have done more than others to achieve the all-important public trust in driverless cars.
Public trust in driverless cars
Despite tech giants such as Google investing heavily in the technology, the public is still happier to put its faith in more traditional automakers. Some 62.6% said they would trust a driverless car made by an automotive company, over one made by a tech or taxi company.
Although 31% state that they trust tech companies to produce driverless vehicles, just 6% of the public trust taxi companies to produce the sufficient technology, with negative implications for companies such as Uber and Lyft.
This could be due to the fact that a pedestrian was killed after being hit by a test car in Arizona last year. Despite it being ruled that the company was not liable for the crash, the incident is still fresh in the public’s mind.
In the luxury auto brands category, Tesla came out on top, with 26.6% of the public trusting a driverless car from Tesla. This is despite the brand attracting criticism earlier this week for marketing cars with misleading claims of “full self-driving capability”.
In the executive category, Volvo came out on top, with 22.6% of the public trusting this brand. This was closely followed by Volkswagen, which has invested a substantial $54.2 billion in the technology, giving the company a 57% share in the total $100 billion investment that has been made in driverless car technology to date.
Apple ahead of Microsoft
At the other end of the spectrum, Renault has failed to win over trust in driverless cars, with only 4.1% trusting the brand to deliver the technology.
In the budget category, 46.7% trust the South Korean brand Hyundai, to produce a driverless vehicle, with less positive results for budget competitors Citroen, Chrysler and Peugeot.
For the tech giants, 31.3% of drivers said they would trust tech giant Apple to produce a driverless car, with the company reportedly testing the technology in California. However, Microsoft has fallen behind rivals in this area, with only 11.6% of the public saying they would trust the company to create a self-driving car.
Earlier this year, Microsoft and LG announced that they were partnering on the development of driver assistance systems.