Consumers in the West Don’t Trust and are Skeptical of Autonomous Robo-Taxis

A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated consumer interest in completely automated taxis or limited-route shuttles. Even if the trust ‘issue’ can be resolved through marketing campaigns and mere exposure, the limitations of current robo-taxi and shuttle pilots (in terms of geographic footprint, top speed, and drop-off/pick-up points) add to consumers’ hesitance toward automated mobility service.

Consumer attitudes toward automated mobility services have significant hurdles to clear. Beyond trust, many other factors crucial to the UX of future AV concepts, such as vehicle quality and service practicality must be addressed.

Consumers in the West are extraordinarily skeptical of robo-taxi services given recent difficulties and negative media focus in the space; while consumers in China are more optimistic and forward-leaning.

Regardless of the service model – point-to-point ride-sharing or limited-route transport – no more than one fifth of any region showed “extreme” interest in any self-driving mobility service.

Consumers in the US continue to show the strongest hesitation, with around one third showing no interest at all in any automated mobility service.

Skeptical consumers continue to cite trust, cost, quality, and practicality as primary concerns for automated taxis and busses.

“Interest in China remains modest, as the development of automated mobility services is still nascent and optimism remains high. But in Western markets, where on-road testing is prominent and developers gain media attention through crashes and lawsuits, the traveling public is more skeptical,” says Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author,  “Unsurprisingly, interest in robo-taxis tends to fall strictly within the segments that are more accepting of technological advances. In China, all ages fit this bill to some extent, but in the West, this limits viability to mid-aged and younger segments.”

“In order for robo-taxi concepts to advance in the West, an effort must be made to cater toward the wide swaths of Early/Late Majorities who are showing no interest in such a service. Cost, vehicle quality, and practicality of the service must all be addressed,” says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP,

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