Image credits: Continental AG
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News Article

Autonomous Vehicles Gain Acceptance: Continental Mobility

By Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 09/09/2021 - 06:06

Continental, one of the largest Tier 1 suppliers in the world, presented the results of its mobility study in key markets and highlighted the increasing acceptance of autonomous driving. The survey’s results point that assistance systems and data sharing are increasingly linked with clear benefits by users.

Consumers in Asian markets are more open to embrace the benefits of automated driving, the study says. China and Japan indicated “high openness” to this technology, while Germany, France and the US maintain a "wait-and-see" attitude. Other key markets also showed a strong openness to driver assistance systems.

"The high level of confidence in driver assistance systems indicates that as these become more widespread, confidence in automated driving will automatically grow. Our experience has shown that acceptance increases as people get to know and understand the functions in question," said Frank Petznick, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental.

Users are also increasingly realizing the clear benefits of data sharing, a key element of autonomous driving. Above 80 percent of consumers in key markets are happy to accept the storage, transfer and processing of driving data–even personal data-–if it serves to clarify the circumstances of an accident or improve traffic flow, according to Continental.

There is a "split" when it comes to how environmentally friendly electric vehicles really are. This is particularly true for markets in the EU. In Germany and France, a third and a quarter of consumers, respectively, are doubtful of their environmental benefit. In the US and China this figure shrinks to less than 10 percent, while in Japan only 1 percent are doubtful.

Despite Mexico's prominent role in traditional vehicle manufacturing, the development of AVs in the country may be years away. In 2018, the country was included in KPMG's first Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) alongside the US, Canada and Brazil. At the time, Mexico ranked 19 out of 20, just above India. In 2019, AVRI expanded to 25 countries and Mexico fell to 23rd place, just above India and Brazil. In 2020, AVRI expanded to 30 countries and Mexico fell again to 28th, this time above India and Brazil and just below Chile.

In Mexico sales of EVs continue to gain strength despite the pandemic. As a percentage of total vehicle sales, EVs represented only 0.26 percent in 1Q2016. Only five years later, in 1Q2021, they represent 3.81 percent of total sales and expect to surpass 5 percent in 2Q2021. NPHVs account for most sales, followed by PHEVs and then BEVs. According to the international energy agency (iea), Mexico is the country with the third largest ratio of Public Chargers per EV stock in 2020. As for production, only Ford is trusting heavily in the country's manufacturing capabilities for new powertrains. Since 2017, Ford produced its Fusion hybrid in Mexico, followed in 2018 by the Lincoln MKZ hybrid. However, both stopped production in 2Q2020 to ramp up the production of Mustang's Mach-E, the first BEV of a major automaker produced in the country.

Photo by:   Continental AG
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst