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July 30, 2019

Forget private autonomous for 12 years – survey

Auto and tech industry experts have predicted it will be at least 12 years before fully autonomous vehicles are being sold to private buyers, according to a JD Power survey.

By Olly Wehring

Auto and tech industry experts have predicted it will be at least 12 years before fully autonomous vehicles are being sold to private buyers, according to a JD Power survey.

Meanwhile, consumers think it will be close to a decade before self-driving vehicles are ready in variety of uses. Industry insiders think robotaxis will not be ready for widespread public use until 2025, cnbc.com reported.

"It's going to be around that decade-plus before that is going to be an option for consumers to purchase a self-driving vehicle," Kristin Kolodge, executive director, driver interaction & human machine interface research at JD Power, told CNBC.

Working with SurveyMonkey, JD Power polled around 5,000 auto and tech experts as part of its first Mobility Confidence Index. The goal: measure what automotive and tech industry insiders think about the future of self-driving vehicles and compare those results with the opinion of more than 5,000 consumers who were also questioned at the same time in late June and early July.

In general, consumers think it will be close to a decade before self-driving vehicles are ready in variety of uses.

By 2034, autonomous vehicles will make up just 10% of all vehicles being bought and sold, responders said.

CNBC noted General Motors subsidiary Cruise had postponed a planned launch of an autonomous ride-share service as it continues developing, validating and making sure its self-driving cars are ready.

"What's most important when we do launch this service is that we do it the right way," Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is sticking with his forecast of 1m Teslas capable of being robotaxis on the road by the end of next year.

"We will still need regulatory approval, but the capability will be there," Musk told shareholders at the company's annual meeting in June.

The JD Power Mobility Index also surveyed consumers and experts about their expectations for electric vehicles, CNBC noted.

Both groups believe it will be well past 2030 before there are as many electric vehicles on the road as petrol-powered models. One reason many expect slow acceptance of EVs: The willingness of consumers to go electric.

"They recognise the benefit to the environment. That seems to be an unquestionable point," Kolodge told CNBC.

"But when it really comes down to, 'would you as a consumer want to have a battery electric vehicle?' That's where we see the resistance."

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