Consumers lack confidence in the future of self-driving vehicles and their outlook isn’t much better about the influx of battery-electric vehicles.
J.D. Power has just released the first-ever Mobility Confidence Index Study. The Mobility Confidence Index is 36 (on a 100-point scale) for self-driving vehicles and 55 for battery-electric vehicles.
“Out of the box, these scores are not encouraging,” said Kristin Kolodge, Executive Director, Driver Interaction & Human Machine Interface Research at J.D. Power.
“As automakers head down the developmental road to self-driving vehicles and greater electrification, it’s important to know if consumers are on the same road—and headed in the same direction. That doesn’t seem to be the case right now. Manufacturers need to learn where consumers are in terms of comprehending and accepting new mobility technologies—and what needs to be done.”
J.D. Power was joined by global survey software company SurveyMonkey to conduct the study, in which 5,749 consumers were polled about self-driving vehicles and 5,270 about battery-electric vehicles.
The Mobility Confidence Index at 36 for self-driving vehicles means consumers have low confidence about the future of self-driving vehicles. Scoring lowest among the self-driving attributes are: comfort about riding in a self-driving vehicle (34); and comfort about being on the road with others in a self-driving vehicle (35).
Although consumers are more hopeful than worried (65% vs. 34%) about the overall benefit of technology in their lives, serious concerns exist with the development of self-driving vehicles, of which consumers are most worried about tech failures/errors (71%); risk of vehicle being hacked (57%); and legal liability as a result of a collision (55%).
Overall, consumers are split on whether self-driving vehicles will improve traffic safety (40% better vs. 40% worse). Younger generations are more confident that safety will improve (52% of Gen Z, 45% of Gen Y), but 49% of Boomers think it will be worse than today.
With an overall confidence score of 55 for BEVs, consumers have a neutral level of confidence about the future of battery-electric vehicles. Attributes scoring lowest include likelihood of purchasing an electric vehicle (39); reliability of electric compared to gas-powered vehicles (49); and ability to stay within budget compared to gas, diesel or hybrid vehicles (55). Most consumers, regardless of age, believe there are positive environmental effects of electric vehicles.
Both consumers and industry experts recognize it will be well over a decade before electric vehicles equal gas-powered vehicles in sales volume. Experts also predict it will be at least five years until battery-electric vehicles’ market share reaches 10%.