To repurpose a line from a Pretenders song, it's a thin line between love and hate in regards to features for autonomous vehicles.
A recent survey by IHS Markit
found that full autonomy in new vehicles was not yet broadly popular among consumers. But the same survey respondents ranked full autonomy among the very features they would be willing to pay the most for when they make new vehicle purchases. The mixed results were indicative of different consumer viewpoints around the globe when it comes to autonomous vehicles, according to the survey.
The survey included responses from more than 5,000 vehicle owners -- from the US, Canada, China, Germany and the UK -- who planned on buying new vehicles over the next 36 months.
Full autonomy was the feature that consumers in China were the most willing to pay for, and it also resonated with US consumers. But overall, just 44% of the respondents replied that full autonomy would be a desirable feature on their next car, which was the lowest rank of all of the technologies included in this subsection of the survey.
"There is a large subset of consumers who are willing to pay for full autonomy features, demonstrating that consumers see this more as a value-add rather than a necessary safety component, at least for now," said Colin Bird, senior automotive technology analyst for IHS Markit and co-author of the report, in a prepared statement. "In terms of ADAS [advanced driver assistance systems], safety features like automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection, consumers wanted to see these features standard across the board."
Across all of the countries, younger drivers, including millennials and Generation Z respondents, were more interested in full autonomy than other generational groups, with 61% seeing it as a must-have feature in their next vehicle purchases. By contrast, baby boomer and Generation X survey respondents were less stoked about full autonomy even though it would make driving easier for older generations.
Overall, blind spot detection ranked as the most desired feature among all audiences young and old. Survey respondents in the US were more willing to step up to the plate by paying significantly more for blind spot detection than consumers in the other regions. US respondents also indicated they were interested in navigation systems, automatic emergency braking and steering wheel-mounted controls.
Across all of the countries, highway autopilot was mentioned as a top technology. US consumers were willing to pay $107 more than their nearest counterparts to have their next vehicles fitted out with highway autopilot.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation