Study finds major reservations about autonomous driving

(December 16, 2016) MUNICH, Germany — A new study finds a majority of German car drivers (59%) consider autonomous driving technology immature and refuse to hand over control to the vehicle. However, original customer voices on the internet analyzed by Consline AG show that first-hand experience with driving assistance systems significantly increases the acceptance of autonomous driving — systems like adaptive cruise control or lane assist — not only reduce stress in traffic jams they also increase trust in the technology and reduce the perceived accident risk.

However, users still have doubts regarding the "compatibility" with other traffic participants like pedestrians, liability and data abuse.

Regarding usefulness, adaptive cruise control ranks first with 60% positive evaluation, while traffic sign recognition and brake assist are at the bottom of the ranking (nearly 60% negative each) with drivers criticizing malfunction.

A comparison of the brands analyzed in the study shows surprising differences: In spite of fatal accidents, Tesla lies clearly ahead of German premium brands regarding adaptive cruise control and lane assist. Tesla's brake assist, however, is being criticized.

All in all, users call for significant improvements of assistance systems, especially with regard to traffic flow ("too much safety distance"), error rate ("wrong reaction of the system") or driving behavior ("hard braking").

The study is intended to contribute to a stronger consideration of customer requirements within the discussion which has so far been technology-driven.

 Munich-based market research company Consline analyzed 1,379 user comments from relevant German-speaking online sources like news portals, forums and social media from April to October 2016. The 2,723 individual statements contained in these user comments were categorized and evaluated in detail.

Consline AG is a pioneer in the field of complete and precise monitoring of customer voices on the internet. Since 1999, Consline has been supporting companies at the improvement of products, services and campaigns as well as reliable product observation.