Consumers Would Pay $4,900 For Autonomous Car Tech, Study Finds

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As the motoring world inches closer to welcoming fully-autonomous passenger vehicles on the road, it’s important to bear in mind that with every increase in the number and complexity of sensors, processors, and data loggers on a given vehicle comes a corresponding increase in price.

So just how much added cost are consumers willing to swallow in order to have a car that can pilot itself? According to research from Cornell University, summed up earlier this week by Fortune, the average American buyer would be willing to spend around $3,500 more for a given vehicle if it came equipped with partial automation, and $4,900 more if it had full-blown self-driving capability.

Granted, there was a range of different responses from the study’s 1,260 respondents, with some saying they would pay more than $10,000 extra for an autonomous car, and others saying they would not pay for the technology. Of course, given that recent estimates put the cost of full-autonomy at around $250,000 using current technology (according to Quartz), the findings of this Cornell research will likely remain purely academic until costs can be reduced.

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It’s worth noting that Cornell conducted this research in late-2014, well ahead of another, more recent study which suggested that many consumers had lost confidence in self-driving car technology. That lack of trust remains yet another unsurmounted obstacle for autonomous vehicles.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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