An Intel Corporation study has found consumers look forward to a future with self-driving cars while harboring fears and uncertainty now. The survey of U.S. consumers found that only 21 percent of Americans would swap their cars for self-driving cars today, even though 63 percent expect such vehicles to be the norm in 50 years. That future vision fits with an earlier study in which Intel predicted a passenger-centric future worth $7 trillion by 2050.
Intel’s 2017 Passenger Economy report found that self-driving vehicles have the potential to save 585,000 lives from 2035 to 2045. But Intel’s new study found consumers conflicted about this promise. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (43 percent) said they don’t feel safe around autonomous vehicles (AV) – with women more fearful than men. At the same time, more than half of consumers look forward to the day when they won’t have to drive and expect to be using their car time for entertainment or work within 50 years.
When asked what they expect to do in an autonomous vehicle in the next 50 years, people expressed enthusiasm for the full gamut of activities spanning work, rest and play:
- Consume entertainment (58 percent)
- Socialize (57 percent)
- Work (56 percent)
- Host meetings (33 percent)
- Groom (26 percent)
- Exercise (14 percent)
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that autonomous vehicles could reduce traffic fatalities by 94 percent by eliminating accidents due to human error. This is a future Intel is working hard to deliver. To be successful, the company believes it must connect the dots between today’s automated driving assist technologies and tomorrow’s full autonomy.
Intel believes the best approach is twofold:
- Create widespread availability, education and of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). Without the learnings gained from people experiencing ADAS at scale, it is unthinkable to expect them to universally leap the proverbial technology chasm and accept full autonomy.
- Create a universally acceptable and understood safety standard. As a starting point, Intel has offered its Responsibility-Sensitive Safety model. This proposed standard formalizes what it means to be a safe driver into a mathematical equation that can be explained and fully transparent. Intel is inviting the industry to align on such a standard. The recently announced Institute for Advanced Mobility in Arizona aims to solve the liability, regulatory and safety implications of automated vehicles and will work to develop standards and best practices for the industry to follow.
Autonomous driving not only offers the promise of significant social benefits – including saving lives – it will also unlock new passenger experiences. Cars will no longer simply be about mobility, they will hold the potential to become experiential transportation pods. The 2017 Passenger Economy Report was commissioned by Intel and conducted by Strategy Analytics.