Study: Consumers are ready for driverless cars

The promise of autonomous cars stirs excitement with consumers around the world, and manufacturers are investing to meet the demand. But consumers expect self-driving cars to take a large role in their lives and give them more free time. Is the automotive industry ready to deliver?

Consumers are excited about autonomous cars. They imagine driverless cars giving them time to socialize with family and friends either virtually or by sharing the space, picking up non-driving family members, or providing them “me time” to meditate or exercise.

According to our recent Capgemini Research Institute report, consumer acceptance of self-driving cars is set to double in five years, and they are willing to pay a premium for them. Even though consumers are eager to drive autonomous cars forward, companies need to make sure their investment is matching the enthusiasm.

Autonomous cars will alter the automotive industry. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, has said “software will account for 90% of future innovations in the car.” The self-driving car will have millions of lines of code and automotive companies need to actively start building capabilities with software to be competitive.

Unlike human-driven cars, self-driving cars learn from another. Read more in Steering the future of the autonomous car: What global consumers want from self-driving cars and how organizations can give it to them.

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Target high-yield segments and ease concerns

  • Millennials and urban/suburban consumers are more positive about self-driving vehicles
  • Half of consumers are willing to pay a premium of up to 20%
  • Invest in safety to reduce anxiety about security hacks and unexpected situations

Build meaningful in-car experiences

  • Future self-driving cars will look and feel different than current cars
  • Focus on how consumers want to use the self-driving car and design for it
  • Seek out collaborations with other companies to offer unique in-car services

Educate consumers about driverless cars

  • Consumers are seeing cars moving from a means of transportation to a quasi-personal assistant
  • Market self-driving capabilities appropriately to manage consumer expectations
  • Upcoming industry standards will rank manufacturers selling self-driving technologies to help consumers’ decisions


More than two-thirds of consumers trust a traditional automaker, but only 39% trust a tech start-up.


Half the consumers surveyed expect self-driving cars to help save time to pursue other activities.


Nearly a third of consumers expect self-driving cars to reduce traffic congestion.

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