Drivers are not convinced of the future of motoring, according to the latest survey by JD Power.
The inaugural study on the Mobility Trust Index found that consumers lacked confidence in autonomous and electric vehicles, the attention of car manufacturers around the world and the two technologies that absorb tens of billions of dollars of research and development budgets.
Using the global survey company SurveyMonkey, the respected research and analysis company JD Power questioned 5749 people on self-driving cars and 5270 on electric vehicles, discovering important problems for the automotive industry in the transformation phase .
"Outside the box, these scores are not encouraging," said Kristin Kolodge, executive director, driver interaction and research on human-machine interface at JD Power. "As car manufacturers are moving towards self-driving vehicles and greater electrification, it is important to know if consumers are on the same road – and they are headed in the same direction. It does not seem to be the case now."
Kolodge has suggested that car manufacturers must work harder to sell the benefits of the next technology that some are calling the biggest change in over 100 years of motoring.
"Manufacturers must learn where consumers are in terms of understanding and accepting new mobility technologies – and what needs to be done."
JD Power found that the mobility confidence index for self-driving cars was only 36 out of 100, considered "low". The biggest concern was that people did not feel comfortable with the street inside or around a driverless car.
The study concluded that "there are serious concerns about the development of self-driving vehicles".
JD Power said that 71% of the people interviewed were more worried about technical failures, while 57% were worried that the autonomous vehicle could be violated.
Although the first iterations of semi-autonomous technology have become widely available, 66 percent of respondents stated that "they had little or no knowledge of self-driving vehicles".
The results were not as disastrous for electric vehicles, with Mobility Confidence set at 55.
While the charging infrastructure and range of batteries have been listed as "critical challenges that need to be addressed", it is perhaps not surprising that the price of electric vehicles has been considered the main concern.
The cheapest electric vehicle in Australia is the Hyundai Ioniq, at around $ 49,000 in the car.
"The affordability and consumer confidence remain among the main challenges for the adoption of electric vehicles," said the JD Power survey.
Fundamental to the interest of electric vehicles is the experience with the product, according to the JD Power survey. Of the 32% of respondents who had an EV, three quarters said they would consider buying one.
However, of over two-thirds of respondents who had no experience with an electric vehicle, only 40% said they would consider buying or leasing one.