Car shoppers are more ready for automated vehicles than they may realize, according to a new report from Edmunds. Thanks to a rapid adoption of active safety features, more than 60 percent of new models today can be bought at Level 1 or 2 autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Five years ago, less than 25 percent of new models offered these features.
Levels of autonomous/automated cars range from 0 (conventional cars) to 5 (the vehicle’s driving system can do what a human driver would do, in every driving scenario).
“While some car buyers may view a fully autonomous vehicle as a novelty, a vehicle that has the ability to prevent an accident before it occurs is seen as a safety breakthrough,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis.
In a recent Edmunds survey, more than 40 percent of consumers said they would spend $1,000 to $2,000 more for a vehicle that had active safety features. Blind spot detection, pre-collision warning systems and lane keep assist are the top features consumers said they’re willing to pay a premium for.
Edmunds also analyzed which automakers are offering active safety features on the widest variety of vehicles in their lineups and found that Tesla, Volvo, Honda and Mercedes-Benz are leading the way.
As automakers and dealers look to build this future buyer base, courting millennials is particularly important as they are the ones most ready to be early adopters. In a recent Edmunds survey, 65 percent of millennials said they would trust a Level 4 (fully autonomous) AV, and 35 percent said they would buy one if it became available in the next five years.Download Bulletin PDF