first_imgGood news, self-driving car makers: A new study suggests some consumers are willing to pay upwards of $10,000 for full autonomy.But don’t get your hopes up, Elon Musk.Researchers last year conducted an online survey, asking a cross-section of the US population about three levels of automation: none, partial (“automated crash avoidance”), and full (“Google car”).Unsurprisingly, results vary based on education level, vehicle ownership, and general understanding of the relatively new technology. While some respondents are reluctant to spend more money for a few extra minutes of sleep on the daily commute, others are eager to purchase a high-priced package once commercially available.“Consumer acceptance is critical to forecast adoption rates, especially if one considers that there may be strong barriers to entry (potential high costs, concerns that technology may fail),” according to the study, published this month in the journal Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.I, for one, remain skeptical of the budding trend—currently in testing around the world and soon even coming to Geek’s home in New York. But there are apparently a whole lot of drivers willing to pay, on average, anywhere between $1,200 and $6,600 for partial and full automation, respectively.“Our estimates of [willingness to pay] for privately owned autonomous vehicles takes a first step to understanding the demand for this technology,” the study said.As researchers pointed out, the public’s willingness to pay for partial automation comes close to the current price for Tesla’s Autopilot system, available to download for $3,500.The only fully autonomous package, meanwhile, is the Cruise RP-1 add-on, capable of controlling the steering, throttle, and braking on certain highways—for $10,000.Those folks excited by the concept of self-driving cars won’t have to wait much longer: Chinese Web giant Baidu hopes to introduce fully autonomous driving on highways and open city roads by 2020. Even better, Tesla head Musk recently suggested we’re only two years away from complete autonomous vehicles.last_img

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