New Car Buyers Expect to Own Autonomous Connected Cars with ADAS but Are Confused

52% of new car buyers expect to own at least one self-driving automobile in their household in the next 10 years, according to a study conducted by Bosch. However consumers are still confused about ADAS car safety features and what they do.

Only 14 percent of new car buyers surveyed expect to never own at least one self-driving vehicle, while 14 percent are unsure. Of those who indicated they would own at least one self-driving vehicle, one-third of those expect all of their household vehicles to be self-driving within the next 10 years.

While a majority of consumers accept the idea of owning a self-driving automobile in the next decade, many do not understand the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and active safety technologies, like electronic stability control (ESC), currently available on the market.


The survey results revealed a key trend: new car buyers see ADAS features as future innovations, not necessarily as options that are accessible now. When asked to name the number one safety feature on their vehicle today, the most frequent answer from respondents was “airbag.” When asked to name the number one safety feature on their vehicle in 10 years, the most frequent answer from respondents was either an ADAS or automated feature.

However, many ADAS and active safety features are available today, but the survey reveals that new car buyers have confusion about these solutions. For example, only 21 percent of new car buyers thought electronic stability control (ESC), a system that functions independently of the driver’s action and can intervene when needed to keep drivers on the road and reduce rollover accidents, was available in all new automobiles.

At the same time, there is confusion about emerging future automated technologies, as 18 percent of survey respondents believe that all new vehicles on the market today are equipped with autopilot, when in fact, it is only available in limited capacity.

When asked about their greatest concerns relating to self-driving vehicles,

  • 72 percent of respondents indicated lack of control is one of the biggest considerations;
  • 65 percent of those surveyed also noted that the unproven technology is an issue.

“The industry must help consumers to understand what life-saving technology is available now through ADAS, and how it will evolve into the fully automated solutions of tomorrow. Steps such as the commitment by a number of automakers to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature in the coming years are crucial” said said Kay Stepper, vice president and regional business unit leader, driver assistance and automated driving, Robert Bosch LLC.

According to the study, new car buyers see various potential benefits to self-driving vehicles such as:

  • 61 percent of respondents believe a decrease in traffic accidents is a benefit of adopting automated vehicles;
  • 55 percent of respondents noted more free time and lower stress levels as a benefit.


Attitudes toward automated and traditional vehicles varies among new car buyers when it comes to which option is better. Results of the survey reveal that respondents trend toward traditional vehicles as the most financially feasible. For example,

  • Nearly 59 percent of respondents believe a traditional car is better when it comes to the purchase price;
  • Additionally, more than 47 percent of those surveyed believe repair and maintenance costs would be more manageable in a traditional vehicle compared to a self-driving one.

In terms of prestige, sustainability and comfort, however, automated vehicles are the popular choice. Specifically,

  • More than 52 percent of respondents believe self-driving cars will be the next status symbol;
  • Another 52 percent of respondents indicate self-driving cars will have the best fuel economy;
  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents believe self-driving cars will offer the best in passenger comfort.

Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology products and services, conducted the survey to further understand the sentiment of car owners toward automated driving and ADAS features. The survey reached 1,000 U.S. based new car buyers, aged 18 or older, who have purchased or leased at least one vehicle within the last five model years, and intend to buy or lease a new vehicle again in the future.