“People build trust in small doses,” said Carla Bailo, CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “If you look, for example, when [antilock braking systems] were introduced or when adaptive cruise control was introduced, quite frankly, nobody understood it. It took time for them to understand that with ABS you don’t need to pump the brakes anymore.”
Particularly for people in big cities, automated valet parking could be someone’s first major interaction with an autonomous system, along with geofenced taxis or delivery services, said Frank Petznick, head of Continental’s advanced driver-assistance systems. He said it would be “critical” for such functions to work well and to avoid major incidents.
“Whenever something happens with a semi- or fully automated car, it has a big echo in the news,” he said. “Even situations where a human driver might also potentially struggle, the automatic car must not struggle. This is the expectation of this kind of technology. The cars must be significantly better than a human driver can be.”