Self-Driving Cars: Are We Ready?
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Three key insights emerged from recent KPMG research:
- Focus on improving Consumers’ Quality of Life
While consumers still have many questions about safety, liability and the operation of self-driving cars, their receptivity increased significantly when presented with the right value proposition, which can be summed up as follows: shorter commute times + reduced traffic-related variability + the ability to use the vehicle in either self-driving or human-operated mode (self-driving on/off) = a strong incentive for consumer adoption.
Companies that get the value proposition right – and deliver a mobility/driving experience that is esthetically and emotionally pleasing could dominate the market. Companies that miss the mark on either the technology or the mobility experience could find themselves left behind.
- Prepare for a Radically Different Automotive Ecosystem
In the brave new world of self-driving machines, powertrains may not matter. People may not care how fast a car accelerates from 0–60.Torque? Turbocharged? Really? If you’re not driving, what’s the big deal? The size and shape of vehicles might change. Consumers might well buy their next car from a high-tech company, such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google or Intel, among others.
The more the concept of mobility is divorced from the experience of driving a car, the wider the door opens for new competitors. Given the size of the market opportunity, there is no doubt that smart innovators and investors will move in.
- Expect New Threats and Opportunities from Mobility on Demand Services
Mobility on demand – already a small but growing sector within the transportation industry – could expand significantly, possibly obviating the need for families to purchase more than one vehicle.
The growth of mobility service providers could reshape both demand for vehicles and buying power. If the car you want shows up when you want it, where you want it, does it matter if you own it?
Mobility on Demand: Why Own a Car?
What if you could install an app on your phone that would allow you to summon a self-driving car in a matter of minutes? Would you still need to own a car?
Most people respond to that question that they will give up their second car in favor of being able to summon a self-driving vehicle when they needed one assuming the car could be there within 15 minutes. Even an hour wait for a car didn’t seem to diminish the value of mobility on demand significantly, as long as the wait for a self-driving vehicle was not going to be longer than the expected wait for a taxi.