Self-Driving Cars: Are We Ready? 

A message from Gary Silberg

A year ago, KPMG's Automotive team released a white paper about self-driving vehicles. That report, Self-Driving Cars: The Next Revolution, focused on the emerging technologies and the profound impact self-driving vehicles could have in reshaping our roads, our cities and our lives.1

 

A year later the momentum around self-driving vehicles is astonishing. In some ways, the industry is moving even faster than we predicted. Rarely does a day go by without another announcement about a new technological breakthrough or a new joint venture. Traditional automotive manufacturers are teaming up with high tech companies; innovative start-ups are seeking and finding investors. The landscape is shifting before our eyes.

 

But the introduction of disruptive innovation is fraught with risks. No matter how great the potential of self-driving vehicles, its trajectory will be determined by markets. And those markets are composed of people—consumers—who will ultimately adopt or reject the technology.

 

So this year, KPMG LLP went directly to consumers to ask the all-important question: If self-driving vehicles were available and safe, would you use them?

 

We conducted focus groups with vehicle owners in Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Iselin, New Jersey. We also leveraged insights into current sentiment about self-driving technologies using KPMG's Mass Opinion Business Intelligence (MOBI™) capability. Our research yielded three important insights into when, why and how consumers might use self-driving vehicles.

  1. There's a distinct self-driving value proposition. Get it right and consumers will clamor (and pay) for the technology.
  2. Get ready for the post-powertrain ecosystem. Acceleration time from 0–60 mph may not matter in the self-driving era. Consumers might well buy their self-driving cars from high-tech companies.
  3. The growth in self-driving mobility on demand services could mark the end of the two-car family.

The report that follows discusses our findings and the implied opportunities and risks ahead for everyone within the automotive ecosystem. We hope you find the report illuminating and that we will have a chance to discuss our findings with you in the near future.

 

Gary Silberg

Partner, KPMG LLP

National Industry Leader Automotive

 

For more information, download the full report below.

 

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1. "Self-Driving Cars: The Next Revolution", KPMG and the Center for Automotive Research, 2012, available online.