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Even connected car owners have doubts about autonomous vehicles

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 07:00
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Developing reliable technology will obviously be important as well, and that includes current connected car and advanced driver assistance technologies. “Before car companies can expect consumers to trust their car to brake or switch lanes, they must first ensure current technologies have rapid and nearly flawless response rates,” Conaway says. 

Current testing and experiments with self-driving vehicles, like what Uber is doing in Pittsburgh (the company is piloting a small fleet of autonomous vehicles with back-up drivers), can help showcase vehicle safety as well. “This is serving as a natural bridge to developing the trust necessary for the full-on autonomous experience, and, in this case, it’s also allowing Uber to collect immense amounts of data that will propel the self-driving car industry forward,” Conaway says. 

(These experiments are also going to have their share of set-backs – in February, one of the Uber vehicles was involved in a collision.) 

The study also uncovered some other interesting findings. For example, current connected vehicle drivers list safety and navigation as the most trusted features in current “smart” vehicles. Half of drivers are most likely to rely on safety sensors (like lane departure alerts, while 35 percent are most likely to rely on navigational driving prompts. One in four respondents also listed navigation as the most valuable connected feature, while 20 percent indicated safety monitors were the most valuable feature. 

Even relatively tech-savvy connected vehicle owners are unaware that their vehicles are generating large amount of data, or where that data is going. Solace found that 48 percent of respondents weren’t aware that their vehicle “could store their personal data, such as their home address, social security number, birthday, etc.”

Data issues have grown increasingly important both in terms of privacy legislation, and among the automotive aftermarket where ownership of vehicle and driver data will play an important part in determining who has access to vehicle telematics information. Based on the Solace data, both OEMS and the aftermarket will need to do a lot of work to educate consumers about the type of data connected vehicles are exposing. 

Conaway says that security concerns about that data could slow adoption of connected and self-driving vehicle technologies.

“Car companies must ensure they are investing in the right data protection technologies that keep users safe. On top of trusting vehicles to actually drive safely, data ethics and privacy are key factors that will impact consumer adoption of self-driving cars,” Conaway says. “During a time when cyberattacks are on the rise, and consumers are increasingly concerned with what businesses are doing with their data, the success of self-driving cars is dependent on how secure they are. Consumer awareness around mobile data is rising, but most of us are still in the nascent stage of understanding what’s happening with our connected car data.” 

You can read the survey findings at

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