Investor's Corner

Tesla is most trusted brand in consumers poll for self-driving cars

A recent consumers poll conducted by Autolist revealed that Tesla holds the highest trust rating among companies currently working on self-driving technologies.

According to the results of the survey, 32% of respondents stated that they trust Tesla the most in bringing a self-driving car to the market. In comparison, Toyota, the most trusted legacy brand in the Autolist poll, was listed by 15% of the survey’s respondents. GM, which is actively developing full self-driving tech with Cruise Automation, is ranked third in the poll, with 9% of respondents stating that they trust the American legacy brand the most.  

Uber, a company currently embroiled in controversy after one of its self-driving test vehicles killed a pedestrian last month, was listed by 6% of Autolist’s respondents as their most trusted brand for autonomous cars. German legacy automaker Volkswagen and ride-sharing service Lyft each received 2% of the respondents’ votes.

The results of Autolist‘s consumers trust poll for self-driving cars. [Credit: Autolist]

Waymo was perceived by the publication’s respondents as the least trusted brand to bring a self-driving car to market. According to Autolist, part of the reason behind Waymo’s less than 1% trust rating in the poll might be because few respondents seemed to be aware that the company is a subsidiary of Google. Thus, while the company’s technology is one of the best in the industry, it appears to be suffering from weak brand recognition.

Twenty-seven percent of the poll’s respondents stated that they do not trust any carmaker’s self-driving initiatives, while 6% listed “Other” in the survey.

Tesla’s top rank in the consumers trust poll is quite noteworthy, considering that Autolist conducted the survey following the deadly Model X crash near Mountain View, CA last month. Immediately after the accident, speculations among Tesla’s critics and TSLA bears suggested that the collision would weigh down the company’s image and dent consumer enthusiasm about the company’s self-driving initiatives. If the survey’s results are any indication, however, it appears like the Elon Musk-led company’s self-driving efforts still command a high trust rating among consumers.

The recent poll stands in line with Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster, who previously stated that Tesla stands as one of the leaders in the self-driving technology race, as noted by Benzinga. The results of the recent survey, however, is in stark contrast to the findings of research agency Navigant, which placed Tesla dead last in its rankings of companies engaged in the development of autonomous driving technology.

Back in January, Navigant placed the Elon Musk-led company in 19th place, directly behind Apple, which does not have a confirmed autonomous driving program as of date. The top two companies in Navigant’s research were GM and Waymo, both of which have fully-functioning self-driving cars testing on American roads today.

If a recent update to Model 3 owners is any indication, however, Tesla might be working on increasing its efforts in the development of its self-driving suite. As reported by owners of the electric car, v8.1 (2018.14.1) included a feature that would allow Tesla to gather data from its fleet’s external Autopilot cameras. According to the company’s release notes, short video clips from the cars’ Autopilot cameras would be utilized to “learn how to recognize things like lane lines, street signs, and traffic light positions.”

Tesla is most trusted brand in consumers poll for self-driving cars
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