Bosch: U.S. Auto Owners Expect to Own a Self-Driving Vehicle in Next 10 Years

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Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services that has operated its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills since 1906, today announced the results of a survey indicating that 52 percent of new car buyers nationwide expect to own at least one self-driving vehicle in the next 10 years.

The survey consisted of 1,000 U.S. adults who have purchased or leased at least one vehicle within the last five model years and intend to do so again in the future.

Only 14 percent of new car buyers surveyed expect to never own at least one self-driving vehicle, while an additional 14 percent are unsure. Of those who indicated they will likely purchase an autonomous vehicle, 33 percent expect all of their household vehicles to be self-driving within the next 10 years.

“There is clearly a lot of consumer excitement and intrigue about the topic of fully automated driving, but not a full understanding of the sophisticated options available today and the path to get there,” says Kay Stepper, vice president and regional business unit leader for driver assistance and automated driving at Bosch. “The industry must help to adequately manage consumer expectations and show them the specific steps to help guard against rejection or over-acceptance of these important, life-saving technologies.”

While the survey suggests a majority of consumers accept the idea of owning a self-driving vehicle in the distant future, many do not understand the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that will accompany them, including automatic emergency breaking, adaptive cruise control, and active safety technologies like electronic stability control, which is currently available.

When asked to name the number one safety feature on their vehicle today, the most frequent response was “airbag,” compared to the number one safety feature in 10 years, when most responded with an ADAS feature. Specifically, only 21 percent of participants thought electronic stability control (ESC), a feature that intervenes when needed to keep drivers on the road and reduce rollover accidents, was available in current model year vehicles. However, ESC was first introduced by Bosch in 1995 and has been a mandated feature since the 2012 model year.

Consumers also demonstrated confusion about the present availability of connected and autonomous vehicles, with 18 percent of respondents demonstrating a belief that all new vehicles currently on the market are equipped with autopilot, a feature that is presently only available in limited capacity.

“Technology advances are happening thanks to innovative ideas as well as partnerships and industry collaboration, but we cannot lose sight of consumer acceptance,” adds Stepper. “The industry must help consumers to understand what life-saving technology is available now through ADAS, and how it will evolve into the fully automated solutions of tomorrow. Steps such as the commitment by a number of automakers to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature in the coming years are crucial.”

More information about Bosch’s automated mobility technologies can be found here.

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