Consumers Might Not Choose Autonomous Cars for the Love of Driving image

Believe it or not, industry experts have discovered that the biggest barrier for self-driving cars would be the consumers’ love fro driving.

Experts say that automakers will be ready to launch their self-driving vehicles by 2020 and the semi-autonomous vehicles even sooner. The question is how many customers will choose a vehicle which they will not have to drive? J.D. Power and Associates led a survey in 2012 which showed that 37% of drivers are interested in the self-driving vehicles, but interest level fall to 20% when they find out that this would add at least $3,000 to the cost of the car.

“When you get to full autonomy, literally all of the things we understand about the car are gone,” said Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit on Thursday. “The problem is that transitional thing. You are going to have to cultivate buyers who will be comfortable sitting in a car.”

There are of course several other drawbacks such as insurance and legal questions. For example, in accident, who will be held responsible? The driver, the automaker or the engineer who designed the self-driving software? Many automakers have already included in their vehicles several features such as automated parallel parking, lane-departure warning systems and adaptive cruise control.

“The truth is we are already about half way on the move toward autonomous cars,” Hall said. “The first cars that had brake intervention … that is probably the first start of autonomous vehicles.”

Source: Detroit Free Press