Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Autonomous Vehicles and the Enterprise

Research: Industries take a wait-and-see approach to autonomous transportation

A recent TechRepublic Premium poll shows that more needs to be done before autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous.

Blackberry and Jaguar Land Rover to partner on autonomous vehicles It will be the first time that Blackberry's QNX platform will be integrated with Cylance's artificial intelligence technology.

Special Feature

Special Report: Autonomous Vehicles and the Enterprise (free PDF)

This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, examines how driverless cars, trucks, semis, delivery vehicles, drones, and other UAVs are poised to unleash a new level of automation in the enterprise.

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Autonomous vehicles are no longer an idea articulated best in The Jetsons cartoon, but a reality -- a new wave of automation with organisations ranging from startups to the government researching, testing, investing, and implementing driverless transportation initiatives.  

In a recent TechRepublic Premium survey, 51% of respondents view autonomous transportation as a positive for their industry, while just 11% think it will affect their industry negatively. Slightly more than one third (38%) remain unsure about how it will affect their industry. 

SEE: Research: Autonomous transportation in the enterprise: Mixed impact anticipated (TechRepublic Premium)

This uncertainty may impede the deployment of autonomous transportation initiatives, as two-thirds (67%) of respondents are not currently doing anything with autonomous transportation. This number has actually increased from 2017 survey results, where 63% of respondents had not yet implemented autonomous transportation.

Among respondents, only 16% currently use, create, or are actively working to implement autonomous transportation or related products -- a 6% increase from 2017. In 2017, 13% of respondents considered an autonomous transportation strategy, and in 2019 that percentage grew to 16%. 

While some respondents actively work on autonomous transportation strategies, many more (41%) have no definite plan, and instead are waiting to see what the industry does before adopting the new technology. This number has seen an increase since 2017, when 32% of respondents took a wait-and-see approach. 

Why the trepidation? Public safety (63%), regulation (54%), and ethics (52%) top the list of concerns regarding autonomous transportation for 2019 respondents. Respondents from our 2017 survey shared the same concerns; with public safety (65%), regulations (50%), and ethics (52%) topping their list.

One significant change over the last three years was the number of respondents with no concerns about autonomous transportation. In 2017, 7% had no concerns, and in 2019 that number grew to 13%.

What does the industry need to do to boost confidence in, and mitigate potential negative effects of, autonomous transportation? Many respondents pointed to improvements in  technology as a solution. A majority of respondents (74%) want to see hardware/software improvements, including stronger security measures. In 2017, respondents had a similar reaction, with 70% recommending the same solution.. 

Testing topped the list for 69% of respondents. Industry transparency, insurance reform and ethics committees for moral algorithms rounded out the top five recommendations for improving -- and escalating -- autonomous transformation initiatives.   

This infographic contains more details from the research. For all the findings, download the full report: Research: Autonomous transportation in the enterprise: Mixed impact anticipated (available to TechRepublic Premium subscribers).


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Smart car, self-driving mode vehicle with Radar signal system and and wireless communication, Autonomous car

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto