As autonomous and connected cars begin to replace traditional models, it won’t just be the technology that changes. Connected vehicles will also generate enormous amounts of data.
And, just as in other sectors, the question of who to trust with that data is a crucial one.
For UK drivers, the answer is traditional carmakers, rather than Silicon Valley’s tech titans, according to a new poll.
In its Connected & Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Consumer Survey, connected car services leader INRIX found that while 27% of UK consumers would be happy for a traditional carmaker to secure their in-car data, only 18% would trust it to a Silicon Valley technology company.
Echoing a similar sentiment, only 8% of drivers in Germany and 13% of those in France say they would trust technology giants to secure their in-car data, compared to 30% of US drivers and 31% of those in Italy.
At the same time, perhaps mindful of high-profile hacking incidents and data leaks, a third of UK drivers said that they do not trust anybody to secure their connected car data.
“The UK is charging towards a transport revolution and time is ticking for Silicon Valley’s tech giants to address data security and privacy concerns,” said Dr Graham Cookson, Chief Economist & Head of Research, INRIX.
“Consumers are more aware than ever of keeping their data safe, and the fact that they trust traditional carmakers over tech giants with their in-car data sends a powerful message.
“While UK drivers are more sceptical of today’s tech titans, traditional carmakers still need to do more to show consumers the benefits of their connected, and in the future, autonomous, vehicles to secure a concrete foothold in this highly lucrative market.
Three in five UK drivers believe autonomous cars will be as safe or safer than today's cars.
“As connected and autonomous vehicles become an essential part of brands’ business model, the stakes have never been higher.”
According to the research, UK drivers see the most valuable benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles as being improved access for disabled and elderly people (80%), an increase in free time (68%) and better safety (58%). Indeed, three in five respondents (61%) believe that autonomous cars will be as safe or safer than today’s cars.
The research also underlined the importance of technology to car buyers. The majority of those questioned (54%) believe that in-car technology is more important than the brand of car when making a purchasing decision, and 48% rate this technology as more important than the car’s performance.
Questioned about likely timelines for autonomous vehicles, the research found that more than half of UK drivers (53%) believe they will be widely available within a decade, with this figure rising to 79% among under-21s.
However, less than a fifth of UK consumers (18%) think autonomous vehicles will be available in the next five years.
Despite these timescales, only 17% of UK drivers say that they would be likely to buy an autonomous vehicle, while nearly seven in ten consumers (69%) do not think carmakers are doing a good job of explaining the benefits of connected cars.