INTERVIEW

ALAIN

DUNOYER

Head of Autonomous Car

DO CONSUMERS UNDERSTAND

       (OR EVEN WANT) AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGIES?

It is no secret that autonomous technologies rarely appear on anyone’s shopping list when buying a car. Alain Dunoyer, Head of Autonomous Car at SBD explains why. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been proven highly effective at preventing accidents caused by driver error or distraction. The market now offers everything from basic warning systems, through to cars taking some degree of control when a collision is imminent. Manufacturers have also introduced features aimed at making driving easier and less stressful, from traffic jam assistance to semi-autonomous parking. Why isn’t ADAS a ‘must have’ for consumers? Around 1.2 million people die every year in road traffic accidents around the world, yet very few consumers see active safety as a differentiator. With so much passive safety technology offered as standard, consumers see safety as a given and are generally reluctant to pay for additional safety features. Adding to the challenge, ADAS often comes at a hefty premium and is balanced against a long list of premium features, from a better audio systems to leather seats. The need for clear communication Alain believes a lack of communication is actually the biggest challenge facing vehicle manufactures looking to engage consumers with active safety. “Manufacturers that communicate the value of ADAS to prospective buyers are part of a small minority." What little information is available is misleading, often massively overinflating their capability. Awareness of ADAS has improved, but consumer’s understanding of what that means for them is still limited. Dealerships know the headline, but don’t really understand the benefits for their customers. Manufacturers need to do more to communicate clearly what today’s systems have to offer.” SBD has come across many manufactures dedicating disproportionate resource to evaluating demand for ‘autonomous vehicles’, without communicating clearly to consumers and dealerships what ‘autonomous’ actually means. Subaru has successfully engaged consumers with ADAS through informative booths in dealerships, explaining to buyers what each system is capable of, the benefits of using them and how drivers can maximize the value of active safety. SBD’s report ‘Autonomous Driving: Dream or Reality?’ identified a handful of very specific scenarios where a higher level of autonomy could be achieved in the near future. This included reducing accidents and stress associated with driving on highways, as well as (remove ‘more’) advanced parking assistance systems. In order to ensure consumers receive a clear and accurate picture of the many ADAS features already on the market, the automotive industry should aim to communicate the value of autonomous technologies within the context of these specific scenarios. A need for careful research, planning and evaluation A new study by SBD shows that almost 50% of US drivers regularly disable ADAS features, with reasons ranging from distracting warnings, to inappropriately prioritized notifications., through to there being too little information available to understand why their car is beeping at them. “The element of trust is something that needs to be much better understood” Alain explains. A lot of new technology is being pushed to consumers, without really understanding how they are using existing systems. The automotive industry knows very little about how often drivers are using ADAS, where they are using them and why.” The need for a clear value proposition What is it that consumers really want? As an example, in today’s fast moving world, the value of time is significant for many people – and in many cases, consumers are willing to pay for technologies that allow them to recover time. There is no doubt however that consumers are all individual people, making it vital to offer a range of coherent value propositions that reflects a broad spectrum of needs and aspirations. Enquire about SBD’s latest report ‘A Consumer-centric Journey Towards Autonomy’.

“Manufacturers that communicate

the value of ADAS to prospective

                                               buyers are part of a small minority”

“Awareness of ADAS has improved,

but consumer’s understanding of what

                                              that means for them is still limited.”

“A lot of new technology is being pushed

to consumers, without really understanding

                                          how they are using existing systems.”

sbdautomotive.com

A Consumer-centric Journey Towards Autonomy Report

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