Vehicle technology is advancing rapidly, and one of the most prevalent recent developments is the electric car. However, there may be something even more advanced that hits the market in the near future, and motorists won't even need to operate it. This is the self-driving car, and while drivers will still need to have a car insurance policy, they won't have to sweat maneuvering through traffic.
With more of America becoming aware of self-driving cars, the opinions on these options' viability is split. A report from KPMG LLP noted that on a scale from one to 10, car buyers have a trust level of five for self-driving vehicles made by mass-market brands. The most impressive trust score came from technology companies, which registered an eight on the scale. Premium car manufacturers had the next-highest score, with a figure of 7.75.
"As cars evolve to become more highly complex computers that provide mobility, it's not far-fetched to imagine a day where our next cars are purchased from high-tech companies," said Gary Silberg, national automotive industry leader for KPMG. "We believe that self-driving cars will be profoundly disruptive to the traditional automotive ecosystem. Ultimately, the shape of the automotive future will depend on consumers - their needs, preferences, fears - and their pocketbooks."
Americans show interest in energy-efficient models
Vehicle technology is becoming more important to consumers, and even if the self-driving models could be a ways off from becoming regular options in the market, there are still better vehicles available.
Sales for hybrid vehicles rose more than 38 percent in August, compared to the same month in 2012, according to a report from the Diesel Technology Forum. Clean diesel options also had a marked jump, as its yearly increase was nearly 42 percent in August. These purchase levels were notable, as the entire vehicle market increased 17 percent during the period.
"This new sales information illustrates that Americans are not only accepting but embracing alternative fuel and new technology vehicles in record numbers," said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "While there has been steady growth in both the clean diesel and hybrid markets over the past three years, this summer's diesel and hybrid sales have been exceptional."
One of the main attractions to these options is the fact that more Americans want cars with better fuel efficiency, the report added. This may become more prevalent due to government efficiency standards that will become the norm by 2025.