MobilityAutonomous vehicles: Consumers see advantages for the climate and traffic flow

Today, the digital association Bitkom published the results of a representative survey on self-driving cars. According to the results, more than half of German consumers consider self-driving cars to be beneficial for climate protection and estimated their environmental impact to be lower due to reduced fuel consumption.

For this study, Bitkom Research, on behalf of Bitkom, interviewed a total of 1,003 people in Germany above the age of 16 by telephone in January 2021 about their opinion on self-driving cars.

These are further insights:

  • More than half of German consumers (54 percent) assumed that autonomous vehicles in everyday life would contribute to climate protection and reduce environmental impact by using the optimal route at an adapted speed, thus reducing fuel consumption.

  • Overall, 49 percent of respondents expected the use of self-driving cars to result in a better and more environmentally friendly traffic flow for all vehicles.

  • Consumers considered the benefits of autonomous vehicles to be less noise due to the adapted driving (43 percent), more time for office work or entertainment during the ride (43 percent), better driving comfort (35 percent), fewer traffic accidents (27 percent) and increased safety for the passengers (24 percent).

  • The main arguments against self-driving cars were the unclear legal framework, e.g. with regard to liability in the event of an accident (68 percent), potential data hacking attacks on the vehicle (64 percent), fear of technical problems (57 percent) and high investment costs for the digitization of the transport infrastructure (54 percent).

  • Moreover, consumers were concerned that personal data on their driving behavior could be used without consent (48 percent) and that autonomous vehicles were overly expensive (41 percent). Moreover, a large proportion of respondents would not want to give up the fun of driving themselves (39 percent)or would rather trust a human behind the wheel than technology in the car in dangerous situations (36 percent). A certain proportion of respondents had little trust in technology (22 percent).

Bernhard Rohleder, Bitkom Managing Director, said: "Connected mobility with autonomous vehicles means less stop-and-go in city centers and adapted driving style outside of town. In this way, the resource consumption of motorized individual transport can be reduced. Germany has just introduced a law on autonomous driving, with which it is taking on a pioneering role in Europe and internationally. The question is no longer whether autonomous driving will come, but rather when and how."

Source: Bitkom

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