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TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) today announced the findings of its survey on autonomous vehicles, which examined consumer attitudes toward ‘driverless’ cars. The survey of 1,000 adults in the U.S. found that the majority of consumers are not yet comfortable with the idea of fully autonomous vehicles and that safety is their top priority before adopting the technology.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents stated they would not be comfortable in an autonomous vehicle (i.e. a car that operates itself without real-time input from the driver). Close to 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be comfortable in a car with driverless technology. More than half (55 percent) marked safety technology as the most important aspect of the autonomous vehicle that they believe needs to be enhanced before these cars become accepted to the general public. The survey results are timely given the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recently announced guidelines concerning autonomous vehicle testing and safety.
“Significant progress already has been made in developing autonomous and semi-autonomous safety functions,” said Steven Merkt, President, Transportation Solutions for TE Connectivity. “With consumers citing safety as their top concern for getting comfortable with the idea of driverless vehicles, it’s clear that the industry is moving in the right long-term direction and that consumer education on safety features will play an important part in adoption of the technology.”
Respondents overwhelmingly prioritized safety features (55 percent) over more sophisticated “info-tainment” systems (4 percent) when asked which aspect of vehicle technology they would like improved before autonomous vehicles become widely available. Consumers noted that innovation in safety features, including lane control, automatic emergency braking and sensors to detect objects or people near the vehicle, were more important than upgraded info-tainment systems.
“Autonomous vehicles will require more robust and innovative connectivity solutions to enhance performance and safety. Ensuring the functionality of the critical electronic connections in navigation, advanced safety systems, and highly integrated engine controls and power management systems will be essential as vehicles become more autonomous,” Merkt added.