Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The definition of tech-savvy has undergone a massive shift since the beginning of 2020. Today, even our grandparents are grocery shopping online and almost all professionals are adept at participating in zoom meetings. And for industries of all statures, robotics and AI defines the way ahead. While Covid-19 catalyzed tech adoption for masses, the technology was always there.

In the past decade advanced technology has been making great strides in turning visions to reality. The automobile sector has been a frontrunner in creating path-breaking technological inventions to make our cars safer, faster and better. Connected vehicles or self-driving cars were largely visible in science fictions and spy movies but today in 2020, it has become a reality.

Baidu, a Chinese company has been testing a driverless or self-driven taxi service in two districts of Beijing. It won’t be wrong to infer that currently China is the only country where people are ready to hail a driverless car. However, since the rides are free it cannot be said that people are not getting any incentive to make that choice.

According to a number of reports released by Deloitte, after surveying six countries, it has emerged that Chinese people find autonomous vehicles most trustworthy. Globally, autonomous cars have found good support, however, several reports of deadly accidents involving autonomous vehicle testing done by Tesla and Uber have raised concerns over its safety in US and Europe.

An important trend that the Deloitte studies uncover is that across the six surveyed countries, the number of people who think self-driven cars would not be safe has fluctuated consistently in the past few years. Quite hearteningly, people’s trust in the safety provided by autonomous vehicles has increased since 2017.

China, where only 35% respondents perceived autonomous cars to be unsafe, naturally appears to be most ready to start experimenting with autonomous vehicles. Germany is next in line to try out these autonomous vehicles while South Korea and Japan follow closely. Among the six countries surveyed, India appears to be least ready for driverless cars, with 58% of the respondents doubting the safety of these vehicles.

Image source: Statista

The chart shows that while the years following 2017, saw a steady rise in people’s trust towards autonomous vehicles, the sentiments witnessed a reverse swing in the later years. This probably demonstrates that instead of directly launching self-driven cars, may be testing the waters by launching vehicles with some advanced features of connected driving can generate a better acceptance of the fully automatic vehicles.

However, as Covid-19 has forced people to embrace many digital changes in a matter of months, one can say that if successful demonstrations of driverless vehicles are put up in these countries, people might be more open to accepting these futuristic cars by shedding all inhibitions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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