More people trust BMW to build self-driving cars than any other automaker, says a survey by car-tracking company Satrak. The brand from Bavaria earned the top spot over competition that included tech companies like Tesla and Uber, as well as more traditional auto marques.
More than half of people surveyed, 52%, said they would trust a self-driving vehicle from BMW. That number handily trumps the next-closest result, 39%, which went to Volvo. Also competing for the top spot were BMW’s neighbors Mercedes and Audi.
Age and Wisdom Defeat Youth and Guile
Despite offering one of the most advanced autopilot features on the market, up-and-comer Tesla only earned a 19% trust rating. It’s possible the low score is due to questionable performance from these types of systems.
Uber, who have never actually marketed a vehicle, finished a single point short of Tesla with an 18% trust rating. Google, which has invested heavily in robotics and is already testing self-driving cars in California, got only a 3%.
Location, Location, Location
Consumers seemed more inclined to trust well-established automotive brands than upstarts that might offer some experience in the high-tech end of driving automation. While the three German brands represented all performed well, Great Britain earned the highest trust rating of any country, with a score of 48%. Germany was second at 41%. Apparently, none of those polled had ever driven an MG or Jaguar.
Brands from parts of the globe less well-known for cars did not fare so well. Skoda, a Czech brand, scored a 15% trust rating, beating out French brand Citroën by a single point. When compared from a geographic standpoint, Czech cars earned a low 7% to France’s 13%.
What Will Self-Driving Bimmers Be Like?
To call BMW — or any of the brands included in this poll — low-tech is really unfair. The entire automotive industry has thrown itself at producing self-driving cars. Many brands, BMW included, have promised to deliver these game-changing vehicles by 2021.
The blue and white brand has been committed to self-driving tech for some time now. They sent a 330i around the Top Gear track under its own control as far back as 2007, and more recently taught their cars to drift themselves.
Having a reputation as a luxury brand gives BMW access to a large market of consumers interested in features like autopilot. Their line of i cars, which is expected to receive a refresher soon with the new all-electric i8, will make the perfect marketing vehicle for self-driving tech, no pun intended.
There is still a large body of consumers to win over, and BMW will have to compete with other manufacturers expected to deliver similar offerings around the same time. These include Ford, Toyota/Lexus, Tesla and Audi, to name a few.
For now, however, it seems their public is in agreement. BMW really does build the ultimate driving machine.