Autonomous Driving: an Emerging Billion Euro Market?

Autonomous driving is expected to generate annual sales worth several billion euros in value-added services over the next decade. In collaboration with management consultants Horváth & Partners, the Fraunhofer IAO surveyed 1500 motorists as part of the “Value of Time” study regarding their willingness to pay for in-car value-added services.

How much are motorists prepared to pay for value-added services in an autonomous vehicle? This was the question posed in the joint study “The Value of Time – Potential for user-centered services offered by autonomous driving”. The result is remarkable. An average willingness to pay of between 20 and 40 euros per month was calculated for each of the six categories of need, i.e. communication, productivity, basic requirements, well-being, information, and entertainment.

“Three quarters of the 1500 motorists surveyed would pay for value-added services in an autonomous vehicle,” says Ralf Gaydoul, Partner and Head of the Automotive Centre at Horváth & Partners, as he sums up the findings of the project.

“We are working on the premise that autonomous vehicles will become established in the next ten years. The more popular autonomous driving becomes, the greater the demand by users for services to meaningfully utilise the time freed up in the car. If the values were to be added up across all categories of need, this would give rise to a monthly amount of well in excess of 100 euros per driver.”

The willingness to pay for services is at its highest in relation to communication and productivity. “These services are the most heavily in demand in all three countries examined, though with different variations,” says Dr. Jennifer Dungs, Head of the Mobility and Urban System Design Division at the Fraunhofer IAO. “For example, interest in in-car social media services is much higher in Japan than here in Germany (64 percent compared with 23 percent).” Accordingly, providers from different sectors can gain a significant share of sales. In addition to automobile manufacturers and suppliers, this can include manufacturers of technical devices and digital service providers. The automobile sector is also witnessing an increasing trend toward competition from companies from outside of the sector.

Whether or not motorists are willing to pay for value-added services also depends on the generation to which they belong. The willingness to pay reduces significantly from the age of 35. The daily journey time likewise plays a role. The more time a person spends in the car, the more willing he or she is to pay for the use of value-added services, however marginal the difference. The willingness to pay seems to be largely unrelated to the vehicle segment on the other hand – drivers of small cars are just as interested as drivers of mid-sized and high-end cars.

Photo credit: “iStock.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Fraunhofer IAO.

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