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Americans Don’t Trust Ride-sharing Companies to Build Self-driving Cars, Survey Says

24 May 2017

The race to bring the first self-driving vehicles to market has engaged more than just traditional car makers, but includes tech companies (Google, Apple), semiconductor vendors (Nvidia, Intel) and ride-sharing houses (Uber, Lyft).

Add to this the rise in the sheer number of new technology companies, chip makers and even automotive makers that are making a play for autonomous driving, it is a super hot market with an ever-growing amount of players looking to capitalize on what is considered to be a gigantic opportunity.

However, one category may already be behind the eight-ball, according to a new automotive survey from INRIX. The survey found that consumers are least likely to trust ride-sharing companies to build autonomous cars than others involved in the market showing that new entrants to the segment face an uphill battle against legacy brands, INRIX says.

Among the 5,054 drivers surveyed in five countries, those in the U.S. are more likely to trust technology giants to build self-driving cars just slightly more than traditional automotive builders (27 percent vs. 23 percent). Ride-sharing companies only garnered the trust of 4 percent of those surveyed. Those surveyed in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy trust traditional car makers to build the cars when compared to large tech companies, and less than 4 percent internationally trust ride-sharing firms.

“A new battleground is emerging between automakers, tech companies and ride-sharing companies in the race to develop connected and autonomous vehicles,” says Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX. “With hundreds of millions of connected cars expected to be on the roads within the next 15 years, the market share will be owned by companies that can educate drivers and gain consumer trust.”

Of those surveyed, 62 percent of Americans believe autonomous vehicles will be widely available within a decade. Three-fourths of baby boomers surveyed say self-driving cars will help the elderly, but more than half are unlikely to purchase an autonomous vehicle.

The full consumer survey can be found on INRIX’s web site.

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