The World Economic Forum in conjunction with the Boston Consulting Group, released a survey today based on a survey of more than 5,500 consumers around the world in 10 different countries. What they found was that 40% of consumers are willing to embrace driverless vehicles, but only 16% put their faith in a tech based company to produce it. By far, the favored method was that a traditional car manufacturer be involved in the car making process with tech companies lending their expertise. 69% of the respondents preferred this method. 46% were ok with a traditional car company building it on their own completely.
Google has reportedly been looking for car partners to build a driverless car with, while Apple is rumored to be partnering with BMW for their driverless car. As usual, Apple will not confirm an unannounced product but many believe they could have a product to market by 2019, although it may still need some human help for some things. 58% of the respondents to the survey said that they would be open to taking a ride in a self-driving car, either a test drive, taxi or rental car, but only 35% would let their child ride in one alone. The reasons for wanting a self-driving car were also interesting. 43% would like it to drop them off and then go find a parking spot on its own. 40% want to multitask and be productive during the commute and 35% want it to switch to self-driving mode only during traffic. Consumers are also expecting the self-driving car to be a hybrid or electric vehicle, but most are willing to pay more (in some countries up to $5,000 more) for the feature.
The survey also checked in with the governments of 10 cities. While it’s hard to draw a conclusion with such a small sample size, 48% expected to see self-driving cars in their cities between 2016 and 2020, and 40% expected it to take until 2025. That’s 88% of the respondents expecting self-driving cars in the next ten years! The biggest impediment to adopting self-driving cars is us, according to industry experts. 56% of the experts feel that people will have to get used to self-driving cars gradually. Again, this was a small sample size of car experts, so the conclusions must be taken with a grain of salt. 44% say that technology is the biggest barrier while regulation was down at 20%. Another conclusion from the experts was that self-driving cars would be best deployed as a fleet of on-demand cars for transportation in and around the city, much like taxi services operate now.