EV/AV Report: EVs prepare to take off; while Americans lose faith in self-driving vehicles

Toronto, Ontario — Toronto, Ontario — In this weekly electric and autonomous vehicle report, U.K.-based startup, Aervolt, looks to preempt airborne electric infrastructure; while a recent American Automobile Association (AAA) study reveals that American consumers are losing faith in self-driving vehicles.

An electric takeoff

U.K. startup Aerovolt hopes to preempt airborne electric infrastructure by developing an electric aircraft charging network.

The company—originally founded by twin brothers Alan and Phil Kingsley-Dobson in 2022—has installed and connected charging points at six airfields in England and plans on installing dozens more across the U.K. in the next 18 months.

According to the brothers, the company aims to anticipate the electrified aviation wave. While only 10 of the 19,000 privately owned planes in the U.K. are currently electric, the brothers feel that change is on the horizon.

The idea originally came to Phil, the brothers report when he saw a charging unit being wheeled out on a trolley to charge a Velis Electro and realized that no one had built an operating and payments system for electric aircraft.

Aerospace power solutions company Eaton supplies Aerovolt’s 22kW charging unit and units are available for purchase at around 20,000 Euros.

The company has also built an operating system that allows pilots to book and pay for charging slots. With this system, a Velis Electro aircraft with a 20kW engine would be charged in 30 minutes for approximately 17 Euros. This “promises to be cheaper than conventional flights,” Allan says.

A similar-sized two-seater would cost around 30 Euros to 40 Euros and could fly for approximately 75 miles.

Self-driving suspicions

Consumers don’t trust self-driving cars, according to a recent study conducted by AAA, for consumers in the United States.

Conducted mostly online, the 2024 survey’s results were nearly identical to those of the previous year with 66 percent of respondents saying they’re afraid of self-driving vehicles. Comparatively, 25 percent of respondents said they felt unsure about the technology and only nine percent said they trusted the technology.

While the percentage of respondents who claimed to fear autonomous vehicles decreased from 2023’s study, these respondents instead joined the unsure category.

However, despite suspicions, many respondents said they would be interested in advanced driver assistance features and autonomous safety features rather than a fully self-driving vehicle.

Specifically, 65 percent of respondents said they’d opt for reverse automatic emergency braking while 63 percent said they wanted automatic emergency braking. 62 percent of respondents also said they would be comfortable with their vehicle having lane keeping assistance features.

In response to the results, the AAA said that “customers need to know what they’re buying. The tech needs to be marketed in a way that it sets reasonable expectations about its capabilities and limitations. Alarmingly, four in 10 drivers surveyed were either unsure or under the impression that they can buy a car that drives itself while they sleep.”

“To alleviate consumer concerns, ADAS performance should reflect reasonable and safe scenarios with a clear understanding of the limitations. Advanced vehicle safety technology should enhance driver awareness rather than give the impression of replacing a vigilant driver,” the summary said.

“AAA wants to collaborate with automakers to establish uniformity in system naming and performance across the industry. By working together, we can assist consumers in understanding the technology present in their vehicles and educate them on how, when and where to use such systems properly,” it concluded.


The post EV/AV Report: EVs prepare to take off; while Americans lose faith in self-driving vehicles appeared first on Collision Repair Magazine.


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