Data in driving
For car brands to win the hearts and minds of consumers in the connected, autonomous future they need to start acting more like tech firms. And that means building direct data-powered consumer relationships, and using all the data they have to develop services that create value as well as reasons for consumers to stay loyal, according to the new driverless cars study from Altermotiv.
“Consumers’ expectations are that autonomous vehicles will provide so much more than a means of getting from A to B,” the researchers say. “Car firms need to start building the capability today to deliver against these expectations.”
But the picture of autonomy’s early adopters remains pretty limited (think Tesla, Uber and Waymo). “Be rich and/or live in a city … and you might just get a taste. That leaves a few massive blind spots vis-à-vis autonomy’s addressable market,” the report says.
Certainly autonomy is a pretty exclusive ride right now. Only a mere 6% of British women, for example, think electric car start-ups like Tesla will deliver an enjoyable self-driving experience – against 22% of men.
But an autonomy brand can be so much more. Listen to Shahzad, a 22-year-old studying in London.
“I think my ideal self-driving car would be aimed at the people who cannot drive (disabled, old age, no driving licenses, etc),” he says. “It would be priced cheaply so it is accessible to as many people as possible – the ownership prices would range from £7,000 to £10,000.”
However, there’s not much good news for mainstream car brands as far as young consumers are concerned. Only 7% of under-25’s trust makers like Ford, Nissan, and Peugeot to deliver an enjoyable autonomous experience in the future. In contrast, almost one-third think brands like Google will develop enjoyable autonomous experiences.
But 38% of under-25s reckon premium car brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes will deliver an experience to remember, while every older age group agrees with them too.
“So don’t bet on Apple, Google et al to revolutionise the sector – at least not without some competition,” the report says.