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Source: Forbes as of 13-07-2020

In the midst of the health crisis, the French abandoned their cars and road deaths fell by 63%. But holiday departures are likely to reverse the trend. Could AI make a lasting difference?

Road mortality in the second quarter of 2020 decreased by 63% during the containment months, compared to the average for the same periods between 2015 and 2019. However, during the summer months, the weekly death toll on France’s roads could double according to Road Safety.

It must be said that because of the health crisis Covid-19, the French should prefer the use of cars to get to their holiday places, mainly in France,” stresses the organization, which calls for vigilance and caution, recalling that in 2018, 574 people lost their lives on the roads of France during the summer period (July and August) and 12,318 were injured , including 5,176 hospitalized.

While humans are often the cause of accidents, especially the most serious ones usually related to alcohol and speed, technology, including on-board artificial intelligence, could help reduce road deaths. Provided drivers accept the constraints. An Ifop study commissioned by NetApp reveals the level of acceptance ofArtificial Intelligence in cars among the French public. This study is theFrench expenseof a German study, which makes it possible to directly compare the two markets.

Conclusions: Only 11% of respondents feel they know the benefits that AI brings in cars. The safety benefits are generally valued: automatic braking, fatigue alerts, traffic hazards. For example, 37% of respondents find that their car automatically brakes to avoid a collision; 34% find that their car alerts them to their fatigue before falling asleep at the wheel; Finally, 34% find that their car prevents them from the dangers of the surrounding traffic.

However, the French public does not yet seem ready for the more distant benefits of Artificial Intelligence and in the first place 100% autonomous vehicles;  indeed, only 12% of those surveyed would be willing to be driven by such a vehicle.

These figures are quite different from those in Germany, where the equivalent study found that 52.1% of respondents thought that the car automatically brakes to avoid a collision. At the same time, 41.5% of German respondents felt that their vehicle alerted them to their fatigue, and 49.8% that their vehicle alerted them to the dangers of the surrounding traffic. Finally, 16.4% of respondents in Germany said they would drive a 100% autonomous vehicle.

The Ifop study for NetApp  also includes a component on the collection and management of vehicle data. And there, the French public is in favour of total control over the data, and wants to know exactly what happens to them (37% of respondents; 40% of men and 35% of women). Respondents also felt it was important to know that the data collected was anonymized before being exploited (37%). In Germany, these figures are 47.7% and 43.1%, respectively.

In general, the French public is defiant about the exploitation of vehicle data; only 8% of respondents believe that “the benefits of data collection outweigh the disadvantages it entails” (9.7% in Germany). Similarly, only 5% of the sample agreed that third-party service providers had access to data generated by their vehicle (5.6% in Germany).

At the same time, 18% of French people are aware that insurers, state services, or service providers such as navigation systems have an interest in collecting vehicle data. Germans seem to be more aware of this phenomenon (29.6% but the margin of progress remains large.

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