Auto Service World
News   January 6, 2016   by CARS Magazine

Autotrader study shows consumers want vehicles with autonomous features

According to a study by Autotrader, an increasing number of car shoppers desire technology features in the next vehicle they purchase.

The research was conducted online on Autotrader’s behalf by KS&R online among 1,012 U.S. vehicle shoppers in September 2015. In its second year, the study provides insight into how vehicle technology impacts consumer vehicle purchase behavior.

The newest study shows 70 percent of car shoppers surveyed are more likely to consider vehicles with autonomous features, such as parking assist, collision avoidance and automatic braking.

“As consumers hear more about autonomous features like automatic braking and collision avoidance technologies, and they begin to understand how they work or actually experience them, they appreciate what they do and they want them,” said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader senior analyst.

Autonomous features and seamless device integration are two things consumers want in their next cars while 83 percent of consumers surveyed say advanced safety features are important to them than information and entertainment features and 47 percent of consumers surveyed said they would sync their vehicle with their smart watch if they owned a smart watch.

Consumers have specific demands about the car technology they’re shopping for. The study revealed that consumers have specific expectations for smartphone integration, 77 percent saying they want a car with all the technology features they want instead of car color (up 8 percentage points from 2014). In fact, another 57 percent of consumers surveyed said they would prefer auto manufacturers focused on better integrating smartphones into a generic system that would be available in all vehicles from all manufacturers such as Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

“Consumers have learned to integrate the technology into their lives,” said Rachelle Petusky, Autotrader research analyst. “When they get into their cars they expect to stay connected with simple and easy smartphone integration. The manufacturers who blend that with autonomous features are the ones who will win.”

In terms of how important technology is to consumers, 77 percent said a car with all of the technology features they want ranks more important that car color, up 8 percentage points from the 2014 study.

Other notable findings from the study include:

46% of consumers surveyed would pay up to $1,499 for an interactive dashboard

65% of consumers surveyed said they would switch brands to get the technology features they wanted (up 9% from 2014)

65% of consumers surveyed say they would watch the road even though they wouldn’t be driving in a self-driving or autonomous vehicle; only 11% say they would use the time to work

39% of consumers would prefer the navigation system on a smartphone rather than the one built into their vehicles (up 19% from 2014)

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