America’s Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has told the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that car industry executives and media should educate the public on the driverless future of mobility.
Crains Detroit Business reports that this is “the first meaningful attempt to… normalise the future of driving. More specifically, to connect the dots for the public on how autonomous vehicles are going to creep into their lives.”
The report adds that, “In past shows, whether in Detroit or at the ever-more-auto-centric Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Silicon Valley startups and new approaches from suppliers and automakers piqued media and consumers interests. But it always seemed a moonshot, a peek behind the curtain of a far-off future we’d never see anywhere but on film and in elaborate show floor settings.
“But the technological fruit of the entire auto spectrum’s labor began to ripen in 2017. Google’s Waymo autonomous driving unit partnered with Fiat Chrysler, suppliers logged hundreds of thousands of autonomous driving miles, and Tesla maintained meteoric stock prices and glowing headlines with its semi-autonomous capabilities.
“But 2018, judging by the tone at the Detroit auto show, will be the year of the incumbent. Ford, GM, FCA, Intel, BlackBerry and other stalwart companies… show off the near-future of autonomous driving.”
It quotes a recent Deloitte study which suggested only 47% of American consumers surveyed felt autonomous cars would be unsafe, significantly down from 2017 where 74% felt they would and says that automakers are working to build consumers’ trust and that the Detroit auto show can be a “huge step in turning up the volume” on that line of communication.