As companies rush to develop semi and fully autonomous drive vehicles, two questions remain at the heart of the debate over the technology: How many people want their car to do the driving and how much are they willing to pay for it?
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Women don’t like it much
A new survey says many people, especially women, do not like the idea of their car making the decisions about steering, accelerating and braking. It also found that if technology is going to cost an additional R 70,000 to R 120,000, as many in the industry have predicted, interest in the technology is tepid at best.
The survey of more than 1,000 people found just 37 percent of the women questioned expressed interest in owning a self-driving car. By comparison, half of the men surveyed showed a desire to learn more about autonomous drive vehicles.
Why the lack of enthusiasm?
The survey found 55 percent of the women cited safety as a big potential drawback with the technology, compared with 37 percent for the men asked the same question.
Among other findings:
- 50 percent would not pay extra for autonomous drive technology.
- 49 percent are not interested in owning an autonomous drive vehicles.
- 46 percent think driverless cars will not be safe.
- 36 percent say nothing appeals to them about a driverless car.
Will it slow development?
The findings, while interesting fodder for discussion, won’t slow development of autonomous drive technology. Several automakers, including General Motors, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Tesla, have either shown prototypes of semi-autonomous vehicles or announced they are developing self-driving cars.
Many of the semi-autonomous vehicles are expected to go on sale by the end of 2017.
Big questions remain over whether regulators are ready for the technology and whether they think it will curb or encourage distracted driving.
Found on: http://www.cnbc.com/