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Interest in Self-Driving Cars High in Asia-Pacific

But buyers skittish about safety

January 17, 2017 | Marketing

Consumers in Asia-Pacific express strong interest in self-driving cars, mirroring growing curiosity about the technology around the world. But potential buyers in the region have safety concerns that could hold back widespread adoption.

Internet Users* in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific Who Would Consider Buying a Self-Driving Car, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

According to a December 2016 survey by Intel and Intuit, which asked internet users in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan who owned or intended to buy a car if they would consider purchasing a so-called "driverless" car, interest was high. More than half (51%) of total respondents said they would consider buying one. Respondents in Taiwan were the most enthusiastic, with 80% saying they would contemplate owning a self-driving car, vs. Australia, where only 24% would consider it.

Acceptance of Fully Autonomous Cars Among Internet Users in Select Countries, June 2015 (% of respondents)

Intel's survey is not the first to notice significant interest in autonomous vehicles among consumers in Asia-Pacific. In June 2015, for instance, an Arthur D. Little study of internet users' "acceptance" of such vehicles in select countries worldwide found that those in China, South Korea and Japan had the highest rates of approval.

But even as consumers in Asia-Pacific indicate enthusiasm for the idea of self-driving vehicles, they still have concerns that could hold back adoption. In Intel's study, many expressed worries about issues like a lack of safety standards for driverless cars (79%), or had questions about how the cars might react when dealing with a situation for which they had not been programmed (76%).

Although the road to success for self-driving cars in Asia-Pacific looks to be relatively traffic-free, marketers in the space would be wise to develop strategies to address consumers' concerns sooner rather than later.

—Jeremy Kressmann

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