As more and more self-driving technologies are rolled out, even top automaker executives echo the reaction of many consumers, which are receptive to discarding total control over the car they “drive”.
Hopefully, for the moment, what most automakers and suppliers see near term is cars equipped with “driver assistance” features that help in unsafe conditions, prevent accidents and take a lot of the stress out of driving.
“It’s a little unsettling at first when you take your hands off the wheel and then it’s one of these ‘Oh wow’ moments,” said General Motors Co Vice Chairman Steve Girsky about the vehicle he test drove over a year ago – a Cadillac SRX luxury crossover vehicle specially equipped to drive itself.
One of the first situations mass-production cars can handle without a driver is bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some cars are already equipped to steer themselves into a parking space. Others warn drivers if they are over the speed limit and brake the vehicle automatically to avoid a collision.
“If automakers build it and can explain the value proposition, consumers will come,” said Gary Silberg, national auto industry leader for consulting firm KPMG, which released a study Thursday about consumer attitudes toward self-driving cars.
KPMG found most Americans surveyed were receptive to the idea of a driverless car. The KPMG report was in line with global studies that show a growing number of people are receptive to the idea of self-driving cars.
Earlier this year, Cisco Systems, the world’s largest network equipment maker, released research showing 57 percent of global consumers would ride in a car entirely controlled by technology. Cisco is working with German auto supplier Continental AG to develop connected vehicle technology.
Also, in North America, U.S. technology research firm ABI Research sees the first fully driverless vehicles appearing at the beginning of the next decade and reaching more than 10 million shipping annually in 2032.
) - Thursday, October 10th, 2013 - filed under News
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Discuss: Driverless cars are still some years away, but consumers are receptive