Automated autos? Cisco study finds consumers want smarter cars

Tue, 2013-05-14 10:56 -- Liz Enbysk

We told you recently about Hitachi's Ropits, one of several approaches to the idea of autonomous vehicles capable of reducing accidents and easing traffic congestion. Now comes a study from Cisco suggesting a majority of consumers surveyed are okay with the idea of driverless, technology-controlled cars. Cities trying to envision a means to less congested roadways will see possibilities in smarter, connected cars.

The Cisco Customer Experience Report focused on the automobile buying and driving experience, but from a smart cities standpoint, it's what consumers had to say about technology-controlled and/or driverless autos that caught our interest.

Surveying more than 1,500 consumers in 10 countries, Cisco found:

  • Driverless autos - More than half of global consumers (57%) stated they would be likely to ride in a car controlled entirely by technology that does not require a human driver. The most trusting consumers in this regard were in Brazil with 96%, India with 86% and China with 70%.
  • Kids on board - Consumer trust dropped to 46% when asked if they would let their kids ride in driverless automobiles.  Consumers least likely in this regard were in Japan, France and Germany, where only 6% would allow their kids ride in a driverless automobile.

"Most consumers expect to be connected to the internet wherever they are. Since they may spend much of their time in their car, it stands to reason they want their car to be more connected," said Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for the Connected Industries Group at Cisco. "This consumer survey confirms that it is time to take the internet to the road and into our cars."

Cisco is a Smart Cities Council Lead Partner.