Nearly 40 percent of global automotive executives say autonomous vehicles are an extremely important trend in the industry in 2016, up from 3 percent last year, says a new survey by KPMG International, an audit, tax, and advisory firm with offices in Detroit.
“New entrants, from technology giants to startups, are accelerating the pace of innovation, particularly in the area of connected and autonomous cars,” says Gary Silberg, national automotive leader for KPMG in the U.S. “Most of the traditional automotive players have been slow to recognize the power of this trend, but they’re catching on now.”
KPMG surveyed 800 C-level global automotive executives, and found half say connected car technology is extremely important, compared to 8 percent last year. Silberg says U.S. automotive executives embrace disruptive technologies more than their global counterparts, with nearly 50 percent saying autonomous vehicles are extremely important and 58 percent saying connected car technology is extremely important.
He says that while there has been a major shift in thinking over the past year, more than a third of automotive executives believe only traditional automakers will drive innovations over the next five years, rather than new entrants.
He says BMW topped the list as been seen as a groundbreaking automaker in innovations, followed by Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Honda Motor Co.
“There is no question that new consumer expectations have emerged about car technology, including autonomous functionality,” Silberg says. “To address competition from new entrants in the business, automakers need to act more like technology and consumer electronics companies, with highly customized products, quicker introduction of new models, and nearly flawless quality.”
To view the full report, called the 17th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, click here.