I believe that the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry needs to rethink, refocus, and recreate its communication, in order to appeal to the single audience that really matters: the user.
With Neckermann Strategic Advisors, we propose to create the first global autonomous mobility consortium that aims to tackle two challenges:
- Coordinate the mobility player relationships to share concerns, successes and best practices;
- Be the strong and unified voice of the industry towards the public and media to defend the interests of the stakeholders and end-users.
Manifesto from Neckermann Strategic Advisors published on the 6th of January 2020
The nascent AV industry includes four pillars: technology, infrastructure, regulation and people. Abundant experts and studies have already weighed in on the first three. Technology is underway, infrastructure is being built, and regulations are being written. However: People – you, our neighbours, colleagues, and family members – have been mostly overlooked and underestimated, although they are the most important part of the AV puzzle. While we, as AV advocates, envision amazing technology, great infrastructure and perfectly adapted regulations, what is the point if there’s nobody on board?
Our latest research “Being Driven, a Study on Human Adoption and Ownership of Autonomous Vehicles” highlights a lack of communication and education as a significant root cause of resistance to autonomous technology. We identified four concrete actions to address this specific barrier to AV deployment:
- Be more vocal about successes, achievements, roadmaps. People do not know who the autonomous mobility players are, what they are currently working on and with what aim in mind;
- Align the message within the industry on a global scale. Stakeholders should speak the same language and mind the linguistics. “Autonomous”, “Driverless”, “Autopilot”, “SuperCruise”… end-users face as many as 20 different names for autonomous features; we believe that common terms for specific feature-sets are required;
- Include future passengers into the debate at a local level. Understand their real expectations;
- Change the subject from technology to benefits. Quality, safety, economics, and advantages should be key messages from mobility players, rather than latency and miles driven without incident.
We want to address this challenge by creating the first global AV Consortium. During our interviews, experts from around the world mentioned their strong interest in having a supra-national and neutral-organisation to promote common values and spread key messages, similar in principle to what FIFA is to football. The mission of this structure is two-fold:
- Share stakeholders’ concerns, failures and successes to align the industry at a global scale to accelerate the technology deployment.
- Spearhead the interests of the AV community and promote the benefits. This neutral body would be a unified and strong voice to promote autonomous mobility technology towards the public and the media.
Indeed, our interviewees repeatedly mentioned there is sensationalist, non-objective media coverage filling a communication void (see right). We need to urgently tackle this communication and education void.
We aim to implement the first global autonomous vehicle consortium – to support industry stakeholders, to generate synergies and make a significant impact on autonomous technology implementation. Through a harmonized structure, we would address each challenge and barrier facing the nascent AV ecosystem to make the driverless mobility era a reality under the best possible circumstances.
We want you – regulators, mobility players and future end-users – to connect with us to create this global AV community. This is a unique opportunity for stakeholders to join a consortium that genuinely aims to impartially support all players, no matter its region, size, shareholders and market power, in addressing the main market challenges and barriers. There is no alternative to accelerate AV deployment than a collaborative and open-mindedness spirit. If you embrace these objectives and values, this community is the right place for you.
Contact us to express your interest and let’s define together what is the best format to start building the missing piece of the autonomous puzzle.