By on May 23, 2017

autonomous hardware

A recent study has discovered most drivers prefer to see traditional automakers developing their autonomous cars, not ride-hailing companies like Uber or Lyft.

In Inrix’s Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Consumer Survey, 5,045 drivers from five countries weighed in on the subject. Roughly 30 percent of the pool indicated they “trusted” established automotive manufacturers to build their self-driving cars, with 20 percent feeling similarly about tech companies like Google’s Waymo. Only 4 percent said they had confidence in ride-hailing providers.

Some of that could be down to Uber’s lackluster performance. The company’s autonomous development efforts has seen it butting heads with regulators, annoying the entire city of Pittsburgh, and weathering high-profile traffic incidents

Bob Pishue, senior economist at Inrix and co-author of the study, had another explanation for Automotive News. “Consumers and drivers have trust in these long-running corporations,” explained Pishue. “Rideshare companies are newer, and although they’re popular, people tend to trust those they’re most familiar with.”

Other takeaways from the study included significant consumer concern relating to data privacy. A third of all respondents said they did not trust anybody (or any company) with their connected car data. However, more than half of all respondents didn’t even know what a connected car is — meaning the distrusting segment could grow once people realize tomorrow’s cars will likely send their personal information and driving habits to a data storage network.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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15 Comments on “Study: People Don’t Trust Uber or Lyft to Build Self-Driving Cars...”

  • avatar

    I’m sure they’ll come like it or don’t .


  • avatar

    The key word here is “build”. So far these companies haven’t built anything, they saw a problem (more like an opportunity) and made an app to cash in. Another guy made Angry Birds, do you think his skill sets translate well into making an airplane? To me this is like the dot com boom all over again. Back in those days anyone could make a webpage but only few could deliver. Remember eToys or The idea of Uber or Lyft (great name) making a better car then Ford or GM is crazy talk. On top of that a self driving car? Please… I’ve got a better chance of owning a bridge in Brooklyn.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t trust *anyone* to build self-driving cars.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure that in 1900 some guy on horseback said the same thing about those newfangled motor carriages.

      • 0 avatar

        People who are cheerleading self-driving cars have clearly never used a computer.

        “But it’ll be better than that! Held to a higher standard.”

        Uh huh.

        • 0 avatar

          Human drivers currently kill 30,000 people every year just in the US.

          Self driving cars don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be better than the primates we’re currently using for the job.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s not sufficient that autonomous vehicles perform better than drunks, texters, showoffs or the senile. To gain acceptance, they must do better than basically safe drivers who make mistakes due to momentary brain fade. Judging by the Tesla that went under an 18 wheeler in Florida and the Uber Volvo that blew through a red light in San Francisco, they aren’t there yet.

        • 0 avatar

          And people who think these will act like personal computers or consumer cell phones have clearly never dealt with industrial controls. Factory workers trust their lives to proximity sensors and collision avoidance every day.

          Of course, the scope is simpler than public driving but the reliability has been proven.

          • 0 avatar

            And people who think self driving cars will be built or tested to the same standards as industrial controls by the automakers will be sorely disappointed.

            The only thing they will have in common is woeful security.

      • 0 avatar

        He was not 100% percent putting his life in the hands of the horse.

        • 0 avatar

          Currently drivers are putting their safety in the hands of the skill/attention/sobriety of all the other human drivers on the roads.

          Given that all of these ares are frequently lacking in human drivers I’m willing to consider alternatives that will augment or replace them with technology.

    • 0 avatar

      “I don’t trust *anyone* to build self-driving cars.”


      When ever this comes up with family or friends, the reaction isn’t even fear, but aggression. I understand that this tech will make sense for some in dense cities. But a lot of the market (you know, people who buy cars but don’t follow the industry or think too much about cars beyond the buying process every few years) isn’t even aware that this tech is being enveloped, and those that do seem to be of the mindset that they will never use it and don’t want it.

      • 0 avatar

        “When ever this comes up with family or friends, the reaction isn’t even fear, but aggression.

        But a lot of the market … seem to be of the mindset that they will never use it and don’t want it.”

        Again, you could have said the same thing about horseless carriages 120 years ago. Look how that turned out.

  • avatar
    John R

    This isn’t too surprising. It’s a question of bona fides, no? With automakers the credentials are clear. Google, is there too, to a lesser degree sure, but most are confident in their ability to write a competent artificial intelligence.

    Uber and Lyft? Sure it’s reductive to say they simply wrote an app and cashed in, but that’s the perception.

  • avatar

    “Consumers and drivers have trust in these long-running corporations”

    Well that right there is all the proof you need of consumers’ short memories, given the decades of exploding Pintos, ignition switch failures, gas pedals getting stuck, X-bodies, etc. The tech companies just have to weather the storm.

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