Brocker.Org: Google and Apple have a huge disadvantage in the self-driving car race — here’s why

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Waymo

Companies are betting big on self-driving cars, but whether the
market will follow suit remains to be seen.

Deloitte survey of
22,000 consumers in 17 different countries found that there’s a
big trust issue when it comes to the technology. A surprising
number of people don’t trust any of the companies currently
working on self-driving cars and are waiting for a new player to
enter the space.

Of those surveyed, 47% said they trusted traditional car
manufacturers to bring the vehicles to market. But 33% said they
would trust a new autonomous specialist or company to make
self-driving cars a reality.

The survey bodes especially poorly for tech giants like Google’s
Waymo, as only 20% of people surveyed said they would trust an
existing tech company to safely execute on the futuristic
vehicles.

“For all the media coverage of groundbreaking autonomous vehicle
investments made to date, a surprising number of US consumers are
still looking for a new, focused player to enter this market,”
Deloitte wrote in its study.

The survey also found the majority of US buyers (77% to be exact)
rarely or never use ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft. As
the report notes, this is likely because the services aren’t
as popular in suburban areas where people rely on more constant
access to a vehicle to get around.

That could place a dent in traditional automakers’ plans, even if
they’ve secured more trust. 

Ford plans to
introduce self-driving cars as part of a ride-hailing fleet, and
General Motors plans to use Lyft
to introduce its first self-driving vehicles. 

Uber is also
working on a robot taxi service, and Google’s Waymo may
follow suit.

In fairness, consumers may be wary to trust companies in the
space because they have yet to interact with the cars in a
real-world setting. Uber and Waymo have both launched public
demos, presumably to get an early start on swaying public
opinion while testing the tech in a real-world setting.

Additionally, tech companies will likely opt to team up with
automakers to release self-driving cars, allowing them to
integrate their technology in more trusted brands. Waymo already
has partnered with Fiat Chrysler to test self-driving vehicles
and publicly stated it will not build its own car.

But the survey shows companies in general still have a long way
to go in convincing people to embrace autonomous vehicles.

Get the latest Ford stock price here.

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