Consumers open to autonomous vehicles

Published: December 22, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



French bank BNP Paribas has conducted a study and found that consumers are generally receptive to the idea of autonomous self-driving vehicles. These vehicles will break the driver-vehicle synchronicity that has been in place since the dawn of the automobile, but the Observatoire Cetelem study 2015 shows that many consumers are happy enough with this disconnect.

Indeed, despite a paradigm shift in the way we drive on the horizon most customers are willing to hand over the proverbial reins in favor of improved safety and potentially less liability and cheaper auto insurance. Those are all things autonomous vehicles promise to bring and within five years the first self-driving cars will be on the roads and by 2025 it is predicted that fully automated vehicles will be on the streets.

The Observatoire Cetelem study is a yearly paper that looks into potential spending trends of the future, it has been conducted by BNP Paribas since 1985. While the study looks at wider global spending trends, it has focused substantially on autonomous vehicles this year, especially as they are going to shake up what is the second largest consumer goods market in the world.

Self-driving cars will change the way we buy and use cars, and possibly how we pay for and maintain them too. The auto industry in Canada (and indeed around the world) has been growing by record amounts over the last few years, a trend that is likely to continue into 2016 says Observatoire Cetelem. Indeed, growth will reach 3.6 per cent through 2016, up from 2.1 per cent this year, but there is a new dawn coming that will change the landscape.

Aside from autonomous vehicles, drive sharing services such as Uber are likely to mean less people need to actually own a car and sales may well recede over the next five years. Already manufacturers are moving towards finding new ways of making money, such as their own car sharing programs. Regarding autonomous vehicles, the study said:

“Connected cars are viewed positively by motorists who regard them as advantageous in terms of driving comfort (83 percent), saving time (81 percent) and safety (77 percent). Drivers also reported that increased safety (77 percent) and an opportunity to save money (73 percent) as their main expectations for this type of car.”