Study: People Don't Trust Uber or Lyft to Build Self-Driving Cars

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
study people don t trust uber or lyft to build self driving cars

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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  • JMII JMII on May 23, 2017

    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.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 24, 2017

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

    • See 9 previous
    • Goatshadow Goatshadow on May 25, 2017

      @benders 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.

  • John R John R on May 24, 2017

    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.

  • TMA1 TMA1 on May 24, 2017

    “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.