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How Technology Earns Trust

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Feb. 11, 2021—Last week ADAPT brought you an inside look at the upcoming vehicle technologies consumers are most excited about, but for today’s story, we’re taking a look at some of the hurdles to implementing this cutting edge technology. 

During the Consumer Technology Association’s 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, professionals from Audi and the Center for Automotive Research highlighted emerging vehicle technologies from advanced driver assistance systems to vehicular personalization to the breadth of connectivity. 

Hurdles identified by the panel include a lack of trust from the public and an overall lack of education when it comes to the capabilities of today’s vehicles, especially those with partially autonomous features. Here’s how the industry plans to fix that. 


Earn the public’s trust. 

Carla Bailo, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research, said there are three steps that must be taken in order to win the public’s trust when it comes to vehicle technology and automated systems. 

In order to establish trust, first you must get the public’s attention, she said. “Provide them with something that delights them and makes their life easier.”

Then, they have to experience it, she said. Take for example, lane-keep assist. Advanced driver assistance systems usually include a lane-monitoring feature of some sort. In order to win the public’s trust, first you would need to explain how this feature could keep the driver, their vehicle, and their family safe. Next, let them try it out to see it in action. 

The final step to establish trust is education. Consumers need to learn how the systems work and why they work the way they do. Bailo also noted that consumers should be aware of how their data is being stored. 

“We have to remember trust is earned,” she said. 


Be transparent. 

In order to earn the public’s trust automakers need to be transparent, said Christiane Zorn, senior director of product marketing for Audi.

Zorn said it’s one thing to explain what the system can do, but drivers should also be aware of what the vehicle cannot do. 

Bailo also warned of the importance of honesty between automakers and the public. 

“We have to be very clear in what the car will and will not do,” she said. “It’s very dangerous today to call anything self-driving.” 

During the presentation, Bailo went so far as to say she would prefer the public not have enough trust when it comes to partially-automated systems, than too much trust. 

Zorn put it succinctly when she said, “It’s dangerous to not be transparent.” 


Speak the same language. 

Throughout the presentation, each of the panelists emphasized the importance of speaking the same language across the industry. 

Bailo said all stakeholders should be using the same language so as not to “make the customer think the car can do something it can’t.” 

In order to avoid confusion and convey the most accurate information, Balio recommended the industry use the same lingo as the protocols put forth by the Society of Automotive Engineers. 

“It’s gonna take time, but policies and regulations need to be standardized so we can obtain the trust of the general population,” said Bailo. 

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