Vehicle users are willing to pay extra for self-driving cars


Self-driving cars may still be a year away from beating the road in big figures, but further analysis points customers are ready to pay up for the latest technology.

In fact, a review of 5,000 car owners around the globe discovered free-drive technology is a highlight many individuals are prepared to pay for, in some cases as much as $1,000 extra. “There is a vital subset of buyers who are willing to spend for full autonomy features illustrating that consumers see this more as a value-add rather than a required safety element, at least for now,” said Colin Bird, senior automotive technology critic for IHS Markit.

Right now, Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot is the complete well-known driver-assist system allowing hands-free driving. It’s a $5,000 option that enables you to get your fingers off the wheel for a limited time. For $8,000 Tesla users can purchase a full self-driving system, though that technology is still being improved and has not yet been driven out to Tesla designs within an over-the-air software update.

Tesla does not say how many clients have paid for Enhanced Autopilot technology. At the meantime, Cadillac will introduce its new Super Cruise technology in CT6 models for those like to pay an extra $2,500. Super Cruise will let you ride hands-free on the roadway.

Over time, rates are assumed to fall as more wheels come with autonomous-drive technology. But at least originally, users are registering they will spend to take their hands off the wheel. How much more depends on where they reside.

According to IHS Markit, car clients in the U.S. are prepared to pay an extra $780 for full autonomy technology. By contrast, those in Germany would spend $1,016, while those examined in China would only pay an extra $555, on average.

In the U.S., just over half of those observed showed they want full autonomy technology in their next car or truck.