Skip to main content

When it comes to self-driving cars, people would rather have an Apple on the grille than a bowtie

drivers more interested in self driving car from apple than nissan volvo
Look how happy you could be if your car drove itself! Image used with permission by copyright holder

Oh that’s got to hurt; a recent study shows that consumers are more interested in buying an autonomous, self-driving car from Google and Apple than from Nissan and General Motors. Yipes.

Virtually ever automaker, including Audi, GM, Nissan, and BMW is in the midst of a big push to be the first to send a fully autonomous car to market, consumer confidence in their abilities, it would seem, are lacking.

Conducted by U.S. audit and advisory firm KPMG, the survey polled of a diverse group of drivers from Los Angeles, Chicago, and Iselin, New Jersey. The survey asked respondents to score how much they would favor, on a scale of one to 10, a self-driving car from various automakers and tech companies.  

The results were quite shocking indeed. Apple and Google each received a score of eight. High-end automakers like Mercedes-Benz received a 7.75. And Nissan and General Motors each received a five.

As for how willing drivers from different parts of the country were to drive an autonomous car:

KPMG then asked asked how willing the drivers would be to own a self-driving car. “L.A. residents ranking their willingness to use a self-driving car at nine out of 10. Chicago residents came in at four, and New Jersey drivers’ median was six,” according to Wired.

Not surprisingly, though, luxury vehicle owners were far more likely to see autonomous driving favorably than those who were self-described driving enthusiasts.

It stands to reason that high-end buyers are already used to tech and luxury features and see autonomous driving as just an extension of that luxury. As for those who like the act of driving, they were much more willing to buy a car that had autonomous driving if they could turn it off. They were sold, however, on self-driving tech if it meant a shorter, less stressful commute.

When it comes down to it, I wonder how many people realize that autonomous driving isn’t just about a shortened commute. Tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year by self-driving cars.

If all our cars are talking to each other and reacting accordingly, traffic fatalities could quickly fall to zero, statistically speaking. I love driving. But I am willing to give up driving myself the majority of the time if it means we’ll all be safer on the road.

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Jaynes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick Jaynes is the Automotive Editor for Digital Trends. He developed a passion for writing about cars working his way…
Watch San Franciscans take a ride in Waymo’s self-driving car
Waymo Jaguar I-Pace

Waymo is inviting San Francisco residents to hop inside its self-driving vehicles for a drive around the city.

Welcoming our first riders in San Francisco

Read more
Tesla issues stark warning to drivers using its Full Self-Driving mode
A Telsa Model 3 drives along a road.

Tesla in recent days rolled out a long-awaited update to its Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode that gives its vehicles a slew of driver-assist features.

But in a stark warning to owners who’ve forked out for the premium FSD feature, Tesla said that the software is still in beta and therefore “may do the wrong thing at the worst time.” It insisted that drivers should keep their "hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road.”

Read more
The future of transportation: Self-driving cars? Try self-driving everything
GM electric flying taxi

Technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives. Once a week in The Future Of, we examine innovations in important fields, from farming to transportation, and what they will mean in the years and decades to come. 

Stroll around any CES (virtual or otherwise) in the last decade and it’s impossible to miss all the feels the tech industry has for transportation, self-driving cars in particular. Every major technology company has its fingers in cars, from the infotainment systems powered by Google and Apple to the operating systems driven by Blackberry and Linux to the components and circuits that make up the car itself, built by Qualcomm and Nvidia and NXP and a dozen more. (And don't get me started about this Apple Car nonsense.)

Read more