Automotive Cybersecurity

GuardKnox Automobile Experience Survey

July 27, 2021

How Safe Do Drivers Feel in Autonomous Vehicles?

Survey unveils the uphill challenge facing the automotive industry to change driver perceptions about the future of vehicles

More than 60% of drivers (62.2%) would not feel safe riding in a fully autonomous vehicle, highlighting the key challenges facing the automotive industry in changing driver perceptions about the next generation of cars. This insight comes from a survey released today by automotive technology company GuardKnox.

The survey found that 62% of drivers would not feel safe riding in a fully autonomous vehicle, 47% feel concerned their vehicles could be hacked, and 82% of drivers are unwilling to give up personal privacy for a more immersive in-vehicle experience.  According to the survey administered by GuardKnox of over 1,000 vehicle owners in the United States, drivers are not as prepared for the next generation of autonomous vehicles as manufacturers may think pressing concerns on autonomous vehicles, privacy, and cybersecurity are still prevalent for the average driver. 



“With the advent of new technologies and capabilities, the automotive industry is going through a paradigm shift in which car owners are changing from ‘drivers’ to ‘subscribers’. Drivers are expecting a more enhanced, innovative, in-vehicle experience but still have concerns regarding increased connectivity and more autonomy,” said Moshe Shlisel, CEO & Co-Founder of GuardKnox. “Now is the time for automakers to take consumer concerns into consideration and employ proactive, secure-by-design products that guarantee peace of mind protection and provide a customizable in-vehicle experience that can be updated instantaneously while still ensuring the safety of the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Automakers have the power to push forward a new era of innovative vehicles for drivers if they act now.” 

Additional findings include:

Drivers are Doubtful of an Autonomous Vehicle Future:

    • Keep Dreaming. 26% of respondents are skeptical that autonomous vehicles will ever become a reality.
    • Time to Market. 64% of drivers believe it will take at least another five years before autonomous vehicles become a reality.
    • Youth Concerns. 62% of Gen Z respondents would not feel safe riding in a fully autonomous vehicle, compared to 51% of millennials.  

Access to Data is Paramount:

  • Drivers Demand Ownership. 82% of respondents said that the car owner should have access to vehicle usage data, challenging the automaker's long-held ownership of such data.
  • My Car, My Data. 61% of respondents went further and said that only the car owner should have access to vehicle usage data.

Cybersecurity Must be Addressed:

  • Fear is Prevalent. 53% of respondents were worried attackers could take control of their vehicle if properly hacked. 
  • Protect the Data. Nearly 40% of respondents were concerned hackers could gain access to their personal data. 
  • Naivete of Age. Nearly a quarter of Gen Z respondents (23%) were not even aware a car could be hacked. 

The survey, conducted in the spring of 2021, was carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of more than 1000 respondents from the United States, aged 18-65+. 


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