According a recent Edmunds report, car buyers are ready to embrace autonomous vehicles and are willing to pay a premium for cars equipped with various autonomous technologies. Due to rapid adoption of active safety features, more than 60% of new cars can be purchased at Level 1 or Level 2 autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Five years ago less than a quarter of new vehicle models offered these features.
As per an Edmunds survey, more than 40% of consumers are willing to spend between $1,000 and $2,000 more for a vehicle that had active safety features. Blind-spot detection, pre-collision warning systems and lane keeping assist are the top features consumers said they're willing to pay a premium for. With the rise of reported auto accidents, injuries, and worse, this is a logical consumer response. The report also indicates which automakers are offering active safety features on the widest variety of vehicles in their lineups. Leaders in this area are Tesla, Volvo, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz.
With an eye on a future buyer base, carmakers are courting millennials as they're the most likely early adopters. The Edmunds survey finds 65% of millennials would trust a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, and 35% would buy a Level 4 autonomous vehicle if it becomes available within the next five years. On the flipside, 16% of millennials surveyed claim they would never buy an autonomous vehicle, compared to about 50% of those 55 years old and older.