Drivers Don't Trust Uber, Other Ride-Hailing Firms to Build Self-Driving Cars

A new study says consumers trust traditional carmakers over tech titans and ride-hailing apps when it comes to making vehicles. 

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When the era of self-driving cars finally arrives in the not-too-distant future, consumers across the world may find themselves depending on ride-hailing services even more than they currently do—but they likely won't want those same companies building the cars they'll ride around in. According to a new survey conducted by data analysis form Inrix, drivers have far less faith in ride-hailing companies like Uber to build self-driving cars than they do tech titans or traditional automakers.

According to Automotive News, the study found roughly 30 percent of drivers surveyed trusted mainstream automakers to build autonomous vehicles, while a bit more than 20 percent of those surveyed would trust large-scale technology companies such as Google and Apple. But only 4 percent of respondents said they would trust ride-hailing companies like Uber to build such vehicles. 

Some of the trust discrepancy breaks down along age-related lines. Baby boomers are more likely to place their trust in carmakers, while younger folks are more liable to put their faith in tech companies, according to AN.

For ride-hailing companies looking to own a piece of the likely-lucrative future self-driving car market, the best answer will lie in joining forces with existing automakers and tech companies, the study's co-writer said. 

"Partnerships are a solution to help you appeal to all age groups," Inrix senior economist Bob Pishue told AN. "You can create a much broader consumer base with these types of partnerships."

The survey, which involved 5,045 drivers in five countries, also included some mixed news for anyone attempting to push into the autonomous vehicle space. Nearly three-quarters of people polled said they thought self-driving cars will be as safe or safer than current human-driven cars...but only a quarter said they would buy one.