A self-driving car would be more appealing to motorists if the auto-pilot system allowed humans to drive when they wanted to, McKinsey & Co concludes in a survey released Tuesday.
Technology to connect cars to the mobile internet and allow at least partial autonomous driving is on prominent display at last week’s Frankfurt Auto Show.
Several major automakers, including Daimler AG, BMW AG, General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, Nissan Motor Co and Tesla Motors Inc have said they intend to offer technology that will allow vehicles to pilot themselves in traffic jams or on freeways. But those systems would rely on drivers to take control in city traffic or in emergencies.
McKinsey’s survey of about 3,000 consumers in the US, China and Germany found that interest in self-driving cars was highest among young people living in big cities, McKinsey said. About 87% of 18 to 29-year-olds said they were interested in owning an autonomous, compared to 66% of people over 60 years old.
About 79% of the consumers surveyed said they’d choose a vehicle that allowed both autonomous and conventional driving, all other factors being equal. In comparison, 49% of respondents said they’d choose a car that was completely autonomous.
In China, where city traffic crawls, 93 percent of those McKinsey surveyed said they’d choose a car that could drive itself part of the time.
McKinsey also asked more than 90 auto industry executives about data security issues, and 75% of them said their organisations did not have strategies to defend vehicles against hackers.
Hans-Werner Kaas, head of McKinsey’s automotive practice, told Reuters automakers must change their “electro-mechanical engineering culture” and work more openly with outside software developers and data security experts to improve the security of vehicle systems and to develop applications consumers want.
“Car-makers need to build eco-systems of developers,” he said. “You never know where the next breakthrough app will be written.” – Reuters