That our world will, someday, be one full of electrified – that is to say hybrid, battery-powered or fuel-cell powered – vehicles seems certain.
Even in Australia there is, in my view, an acceptance that electric vehicles in some form will play a major role in the nation’s future mobility landscape.
The other big idea for future mobility – autonomous vehicles – has, however, a fair way to go before the same claim can be made for it. And that is not just because the technology to make a car truly self-driving is proving to be an extraordinarily difficult nut to crack. Public understanding and perception of the technology – of how it works, of its safety, of whether it is even necessary – is a hurdle yet to be cleared.
Highlighting the work that needs to be done regarding public perception are a handful of surveys published recently.
The first comes from AlixPartners, a global business consulting group, that had some interesting results from a survey of more than 6,500 consumers across China, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the United States. The results regarding AVs found consumers are willing to spend just an 8 per cent to 24 per cent premium for hands-free autonomy over available technologies such as lane-keeping assistance, automatic braking and so on.
The survey also found that large percentages of consumers who identified as likely buyers of personal-use AVs said they’d wait five or more years after widespread availability to buy one.
Responses to questions of AV safety saw 58 per cent of Chinese respondents confident in higher-level AVs’ abilities, while responses in the other five countries ranged from 36 to just 18 per cent.
You can view the AlixPartner’s Global Autonomous Vehicle Report here.
Also published in recent weeks was the 2019 Q4 Mobility Confidence Index Study from J.D. Power – the U.S. data analytics and consumer intelligence company.
More than 6,000 consumers and industry experts were polled about AVs, and the findings showed that consumers have pretty shaky confidence regarding self-driving vehicles. The results suggest consumers are split about whether traffic safety will be improved, with the majority (59 per cent) of those who said they had a “a great deal” of knowledge about self-driving technology believing traffic safety will be better, compared to 55 per cent with “no knowledge at all” who believe it will be worse. Only 11 per cent of survey respondents said they were “extremely likely” to purchase or lease an AV.
The results varied widely based on respondents’ knowledge of AVs. Of those stating they know “a great deal” about self-driving vehicles, the result showed 32 per cent are “extremely likely” to purchase or lease one.
What do these surveys, and others, add up to? Well, it seems that, as with any new technology, there’s hesitancy and skittishness from the public about embracing AVs and that while the research and development, and the investment, in the technology roars along at an astonishing pace, it’s important to bring everyone along for the ride. It’s no good creating fantastical vehicles if no one is prepared to buy them.
MTAiQ’s mission is to introduce and nurture innovative solutions and technologies that will assist automotive businesses to adapt to the disruptive era in which it we find ourselves.
Recently, MTAiQ was proud to welcome e-Motion Concepts (eMC) as a client of the hub. eMC is a Brisbane-based mobility solutions company that is the exclusive importer, distributor and service agent for two vehicle models – the CT-KARGO and CT-KUBE, which are fully electric, three-wheel mopeds designed for the urban transportation of goods. The company recently formed a new business unit, EMoS, to target the personal first and last-mile mobility market with a series of vehicles – the iLark, iTango and iTank.
Seeking solutions to mobility problems such as congestion, parking, pollution, ease of use, cost of maintenance and so on is obviously very important and the fleet of options available through eMC tackles these problems while also opening the door to businesses looking to expand, evolve or develop new business models based on an electrified future.
GOT AN IDEA? LET US KNOW!
The MTAiQ has a two-fold mission: to help industry adapt to the changing automotive business environment and nurture new ideas that can help shape that future landscape. To perform that mission – and turn a ground-breaking idea into an industry-changing product – does require us to hear about them! So, if you are working on, or have designed and built, something that might make a difference to our industry, get in touch and let us know. Don’t hesitate, even if you’ve had a setback or two. MTAiQ is here to help you to take your idea to the next level.
As American inventor Dean Kamen, the man behind the Segway, said: “Innovation is so hard and so frustrating; it takes the intersections of people with courage, vision, and resources.”
We look forward to hearing from you.
5 Feb 2020