As Uber’s first self-driving fleet hits the roads of Downtown Pittsburgh this fall, it’s becoming evident that autonomous cars may be in our future.
Unlike Uber, which will be using modified Volvos for its project in Pittsburgh, tech giants like Google and Apple have been reported to manufacture their own autonomous vehicles. Google has been testing its autonomous fleet on the streets of Austin and Phoenix for years. Recently, Apple has been reported to be developing an electric iCar to rival Tesla. It’s still unclear if the iCar will be an electric or a self-driving car.
While Apple and Google continue to develop and show progress in their prototypes, the idea of a self-driving car on the road remains a topic of controversy. Some are hesitant to consider an unproven concept, wheras others have shown confidence in these customer-centric tech companies. This notion questions the loyalty of consumers to their current auto manufacturers and, whether in fact, the consumer is ready move onto cars designed by tech companies.
Even with mixed opinions, the question is not if but when for the younger generation. It also gives us interesting insights about Millennials’ loyalty (or lack thereof) to their current automakers and what drives Millennials to show faith in a brand.
According to a study by Capgemini, younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, along with drivers from emerging markets, are more likely to buy a car manufactured by a tech company. Even with the safety concerns and an unproven track record, this group seems to show faith in Google and Apple. This higher level of faith in tech companies by Millennials may be the result of tech companies’ proven history in creative, yet state-of-the-art innovation, producing quality products and staying highly engaged in customers’ daily lives.
Willingness of Age Groups and Emerging Markets to Switch from Current Automotive Brands to Technology Companies
(Data from Capgemini’s Cars Online 2015 Report)
The question if autonomous cars are in our future is yet to be answered — but it may be answered sooner than any of us expect!