Which automakers give more security

Autonomous cars: hope for more safety and environmental protection

  • Broad demand for security checks and data protection
  • German citizens want black boxes in self-driving cars
  • Most expect a breakthrough for autonomous cars in 20 years at the latest
  • Bitkom and TÜV Association present a joint study on networked mobility
Berlin, April 18, 2018 - A majority of German citizens would like cars to drive autonomously, at least in certain situations. They hope that this will result in fewer accidents and more safety for all road users, but also lower fuel consumption and less environmental pollution. These are the results of a study by Bitkom Research on behalf of the Bitkom digital association and the TÜV association (VdTÜV), which was presented today in Berlin. For the study, 1,238 German citizens aged 18 and over were interviewed in a representative manner. At the same time, citizens are worried about technical malfunctions, hacker attacks on vehicles and data protection. And so a large majority of the population would like transparent rules for the data generated in networked mobility and regular safety checks of the corresponding systems in the vehicles. “The question is not whether connected and autonomous cars will drive on our roads. It's all about when - and the question of who develops the technology for it, who makes the vehicles and under what conditions they are allowed on the road, ”said Bitkom Managing Director Dr. Bernhard Rohleder. “The TÜV is not a fun brake that wants to make mobility more difficult for citizens, but an innovation driver by creating trust. Trust is the basis for the acceptance of new technologies, ”said Dr. Joachim Bühler, executive board member of VdTÜV.

Three quarters of those surveyed (74 percent) would like the car to drive independently at least in certain situations. Such a function is particularly popular when entering and exiting parking spaces (65 percent) and in traffic jams (54 percent). Autonomous driving in flowing traffic on the autobahn (28 percent) or on country roads (18 percent) is less often desired, only 17 percent would like to have autonomous systems in critical traffic situations in order to avoid an accident, and only 8 percent generally during the entire period Journey. “While parking aids, lane departure warning systems and automatic emergency braking systems already exist and people can imagine such support, there is apparently still a lack of imagination that the car can basically drive on its own. The computer at the wheel does not get tired and does not allow itself to be distracted - there is a lot to be said for autonomous driving, ”says Rohleder.

60 percent of German citizens say that self-driving cars would bring more safety for vehicle occupants or other road users, 29 percent expect fewer accidents. At the same time, 43 percent expect lower consumption and 27 percent lower environmental pollution. One in four (26 percent) also cites more time for the driver and more driving comfort as a plus. Only 27 percent see no advantages at all. On the other hand, 68 percent fear technical problems, 63 percent fear hackers and 52 percent fear unauthorized use of the data by third parties. “This clearly shows that safety is a very central issue for the acceptance of self-driving cars,” explained Bühler. The expected costs are also mentioned as alleged disadvantages: 42 percent expect high costs for the infrastructure, 35 percent are too expensive for autonomous cars themselves. And: 37 percent do not want to let the fun of driving it be taken away.

The majority of German citizens expect the breakthrough for autonomous cars in 20 years at the latest. In the opinion of 58 percent of those surveyed in Germany, more self-driving cars than conventional cars will then be registered each year. One in ten (10 percent) sees this point in ten years' time - and only 15 percent assume that in more than 25 years, predominantly non-autonomous cars will still be registered. "In order for Germany to take on a leading role in networked mobility and autonomous driving, we have to invest heavily in a digital infrastructure and ensure that existing and new laws do not hinder future mobility, but promote it," said Rohleder.

This could mean serious changes for the automotive industry. After all, one in three people who can already imagine buying an autonomous car would most likely go to a new automaker such as Tesla (30 percent) or a digital company (3 percent). This means that the new competitors are just as attractive for car buyers as the car manufacturers from Germany (36 percent) and are well ahead of the classic foreign automobile manufacturers (18 percent). Rohleder: “The race for world market leadership in self-driving cars has started. Whoever masters this technology masters the mobility market of the future. "

For the next ten years, one in two (49 percent) assumes that classic car manufacturers will lose significant market share and that their own car will no longer be a status symbol (48 percent). In metropolitan areas, the German citizens estimate that by 2028 the majority will use car sharing and on-demand shuttles (52 percent) and will no longer own a car (51 percent). At the same time, networked mobility will lead to significantly fewer traffic accidents, one in two (50 percent) is also expecting this. And one in four (25 percent) even expects that, thanks to these new technologies, there will be practically no more traffic fatalities. “The autonomous car is not a further development of the car as we know it, it will be part of a completely new networked mobility. This includes car-sharing and ride-sharing as well as the interaction of various modes of transport on the road, rail and in the air, ”said Rohleder.

The German citizens are calling for secure systems for networking vehicles. It is 91 percent important that the data exchange works without interruption, 87 percent want technically mature technology, 82 percent want state-of-the-art technology. And 79 attach great importance to the fact that the technology is protected against attacks from outside. “Brakes, lights and axles will continue to play a role in the safety of a car in the future. The digital systems that are gradually taking over the steering wheel are at least as relevant to safety, ”said Bühler.

To ensure all of this, 95 percent of German citizens demand that the systems in networked cars are regularly checked for data protection and data security. Two thirds (64 percent) of those surveyed who have a car in their household would even be willing to bear additional costs for such a check. One in five (22 percent) would pay up to 100 euros. 45 percent see the upper limit at 50 euros and 31 percent at 10 euros. 2 percent would pay more than 100 euros. Bühler: “Consumers already have a clear idea of ​​how to deal with data, software and artificial intelligence in connected cars. IT security and data protection should be checked regularly, for example during the main inspection. "

A multitude of data is generated in networked cars, for example on engine performance, driving behavior or the position of the vehicle. It is important for the vast majority of citizens to know what data is being generated (83 percent) and who is using it (93 percent). Most demand that the owner of the vehicle (69 percent) or the driver (57 percent) decide who is allowed to use the data. 28 percent want to leave this decision to the legislature, only 2 percent to the automobile manufacturer.

A clear majority of 69 percent demand that a so-called black box be installed as standard in self-driving cars, as in airplanes. It automatically records all the data that can be read out in the event of an accident in order to understand what happened. “A black box could provide important information in the event of an accident. For such a black box, we need a transparent, manufacturer-independent standard, ”says Bühler.

But even beyond that, many citizens would be willing to make the data available to third parties. 42 percent would do this if there was a social benefit associated with it, such as a better flow of traffic or the investigation of criminal offenses. 27 percent would be willing to pass on data if they had an individual benefit, such as personal traffic reports or automatic parking space reservations. And 15 percent would even make their data available without attaching any conditions.

In order for third parties to be able to use the data, it would have to be stored on digital platforms that regulate access for authorized persons. By far the greatest trust in operating such a platform is placed in independent testing organizations such as TÜV or Dekra (55 percent). Automobile clubs (11 percent), state authorities such as the Federal Motor Transport Authority (8 percent) and automobile manufacturers (5 percent) follow at a considerable distance. “As a mobility expert, TÜV has a great responsibility for future generations. The potential of networking and digitization must be used to create multimodal and environmentally friendly mobility programs, ”said Bühler.

Methodological note: The information is based on a survey that Bitkom Research carried out on behalf of Bitkom and VdTÜV. 1,238 German citizens aged 18 and over were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative of the general population.