Driverless cars and trust: Consumers reveal top self-driving brands

18/03/2019

Apple, Hyundai, Volvo and Tesla are the most trusted brands when it comes to driverless cars, according to new research.

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We’re closer than ever to driverless cars. But who do we actually trust to build the driverless cars that will be responsible for our own, and our families, safety? And is this trust matched by the individual brand investments made into the technologies necessary to make driverless cars a reality?

Leasing Options surveyed British drivers to find out who they trust to make driverless cars, asking them to compare car brands by their place in the market, including categories of luxury, executive and budget car brands, plus tech giants and taxi companies. You can see the results here: https://www.leasingoptions.co.uk/driverless-cars/index.html

The results revealed where the driving public’s in driverless vehicles trust lies:

• Despite other industries joining the competition to become the first driverless car – the public are still holding their faith in automakers – as 62.6% of the public would trust a driverless car by an automaker over one by a tech or taxi company. Although 31% state that they trust tech companies to produce driverless vehicles, a mere 6% of the public trust taxi companies to produce the sufficient technology - not looking great for companies Uber and Lyft.
• Surprisingly, when looking into the luxury auto brands, Tesla came out on top – with 26.6% of the public trusting a driverless car from Tesla. This should be counted as surprising, due to the relative newness of the brand and the recent controversies – it shows that consumers might not believe that the heritage luxury brands such as Audi, BMW and Jaguar, will be able to produce the goods in the driverless car market.
• In the executive category, Volvo came out on top, with 22.6% of the public trusting this brand. In the same field, Renault has particularly failed to make an impact in the driverless car field – with only 4.1% trusting the established brand to produce driverless vehicles.
• At the lower end of the price scale in the budget category, almost half (46.7%) trust the South Korean brand, Hyundai, to produce a driverless vehicle – with much lower results for budget competitors Citroen (14.7%), Chrysler (17.6%) and Peugeot (20.9%).
• For the tech players - 31.3% of drivers trust tech giant Apple to produce a driverless car – but it must hurt for former leader Microsoft to have fallen so far behind rivals in the trust levels for such an innovative product – only 11.6% of the public trust Microsoft with driverless vehicles. Interestingly, Amazon is trusted by 15.6% of drivers, whilst 16.2% trust fellow tech giant Samsung.

With all the speculation surrounding the innovation and competition to be the first to market - driverless cars are set to be big business, and this is shown through the investments in the market. The total investment in driverless technology is $100 billion to date – but the companies that are adding millions of dollars to the pot might surprise you.
Volkswagen is leading the pack with an investment of a whopping $54.2 billion – giving Volkswagen a 57% share in the total $100 billion investment. This is followed by a comparatively meagre investment by Samsung of $8bn, which although is the second highest investment into driverless technology, is only a 8.5% share in the total investments overall.

The 5 most recent major investments include:

• Nov 2018 – +$50bn - Volkswagen dedicate autonomous driving development funds, spread over the next 5 years.
• Aug 2018 - +$500m – Toyota invest in Uber.
• May 2018 - +$2.25bn – Softbank invest in General Motors’ autonomous startup ‘Cruise’.
• Apr 2018 - +$2.75bn – Honda invest in General Motors’ autonomous startup ‘Cruise’.
• Apr 2018 - +$20m – Softbank and Toyota unveil ‘MONET Technologies’, a joint venture to develop mobility offerings that includes ride-hailing and autonomous driving.

Full data visualisation of consumer insights into driverless vehicles and investment timeline is available here.

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