Consumers willing to pay more for AV tech: study

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The average consumer is willing to pay $4,900 more for a vehicle with added self-driving technologies, and $3,500 more for crash avoidance, says a new study out of Cornell University. The research team asked 1,260 people across the U.S. to choose between hypothetical vehicles described in terms of their price and features, such as automated navigation systems.

“To plan for and analyze the large impacts of automation, policymakers and car manufacturers need to understand the market,” said study author Ricardo A. Daziano. “Our study is an initial attempt to quantify how households currently perceive and economically value automated vehicle technologies.”

The study, Are consumers willing to pay to let cars drive for them? Analyzing response to autonomous vehicles, did find a wide gap in people’s preferences regarding full automation with many people willing to pay more than $10,000 for full automation, while others would not pay anything at all.

Consumer demand for automation is split roughly equally between high, modest and no demand. Researchers say this highlights the importance of considering flexible preferences for emerging vehicle technologies.

“Forecasting the transition to an automated transportation reality is a complex task that requires flexible mathematical models of human behavior as well as an understanding of the likely technology developments and possible business models that may emerge,” said Daziano.

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