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Autonomous driving, networked mobility concepts, car-sharing, alternative drive technologies – the automotive world is in flux and is set to change dramatically in the coming decades.
This is partly due to technological innovations. Mobile broadband Internet and intelligent, sensor-based systems open doors for entirely new functions. The legal parameters are also changing: more stringent climate regulations and higher safety requirements will continue to change the car.
However, the strongest influence on the car of the future will continue to be 'what customers want'. AutoScout24 has therefore dedicated a second representative study to Europeans' expectations of the cars of tomorrow. For this study the market research agency Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) surveyed around 8,800 people aged between 18 and 65 in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain.
The findings show that the issue of safety still comes top in the list of priorities. All other factors are secondary. But the functions of tomorrow's cars will not only facilitate improvements in safety, comfort and environmental protection amongst other things. Autonomous driving and networking with other means of transport will also provide entirely new ways of using a car. Car drivers of the future will also view the ownership of a car less and less as a prerequisite for using one. Thus, car-sharing offers and ownership do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.
In terms of autonomous driving in particular, the study reveals a certain level of uncertainty looking towards the future. The car industry will therefore need to take consumers along with them on their journey, clearly demonstrating to them the benefits of this technology, thus eliminating potential concerns and reservations.
This point is all the more relevant the older those persons surveyed are. Older people are generally opposed to autopilots, but this view changes when the specific applications are described. The simple formula "young equals technophile" and "old equals technophobe" doesn't work. When looking at the aging population and the mobility benefits that these kind of functions facilitate, this factor should not be underestimated.
Yet with all the challenges faced by the industry, there essentially appears to be an overwhelming sense of confidence amongst the European population that the car of tomorrow will, on the whole, have a positive influence on their lives.
Both the car and our relationship with the car may therefore undergo radical changes. But it’s safe to say the car won't vanish from the lives of the European people.
“The Cars We Want Tomorrow – 2013/14” summarises these results along with many others. The document can be downloaded here in the following languages:
The previous studies are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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