Study Says Tesla the Most-Trusted Brand to Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Beating 55 other car companies and tech firms, drivers trust this trendsetting automaker the most to develop self-driving cars.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
2 min read

What companies do drivers trust most to develop fully autonomous vehicles ? Auto Pacific, an automotive consulting and marketing research company, recently published a study that answers this very question.

Auto Pacific surveyed more than 600 drivers aged between 18 and 80 to find out which of 56 different companies -- from Apple to Volvo -- they trust most to build self-driving cars and trucks . Of the top 10 brands, Tesla led the pack with 32% of respondents trusting it most to develop autonomous vehicles. This is both expected and surprising. Tesla is a technology company, and one that's always introducing unique or advanced features, but  Elon Musk's baby often fails to live up to its own hype. For instance, Tesla Full Self Driving doesn't do what it says on the label and it costs an astronomical $12,000.

Moving down the list, Toyota came in second place with 19% of respondents trusting it the most, then came BMW at 18%, Chevy with 16% and Ford at 14%, the latter two both offer hands-free, Level 2 driving aids with Super Cruise and BlueCruise, respectively. Rounding out the top 10, Apple and Honda were tied at 13%, then Audi, Subaru and Cadillac each finished in single digits.

Auto Pacific Most Trusted Companies Autonomous Vehicles - chart
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Auto Pacific Most Trusted Companies Autonomous Vehicles - chart

What's your most-trusted automaker?

Auto Pacific

Apple is intriguing as it does not build cars and never has. Similarly, according to Auto Pacific, 5% of people picked Sony as their top choice.

What is not surprising in this study is how eager people are to own an autonomous vehicle. Some 22% of shoppers aged between 30 and 39 want a self-driving car as soon as possible. That compares to just 14% of people between 18 and 29. Naturally, older folks are much more cautious. Of people aged 60 and up, only 3% want an autonomous vehicle as soon as possible. What's common across all age groups, however, is that everyone wants self-driving cars to have a proven safety record.

There are no fully autonomous cars available today, but they're in the works. Features like Super Cruise and BlueCruise offer a tantalizing taste of what's to come in the hopefully not-too-distant future. It'll be interesting to see who gets there first and which companies consumers ultimately end up trusting. 

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