Consumers are making the connection with the connected car

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016

Drivers will be actively seeking active safety systems and connectivity in their next cars. ©monkeybusinessimages/

Consumers in the US, UK, China and Germany will be actively seeking active safety systems and connected technology when they come to buy their next car. 

The results of the fourth annual IHS Markit study, published Monday, show that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as autonomous emergency braking, traffic jam assist and blind spot monitoring now top car buyers' equipment wish lists, meaning that initial worries about trust and the rising autonomy of cars is beginning to fade in the minds of drivers in four of the world's most important automotive markets. 

However, there's a catch, only US drivers considering a new car within the next 36 months are willing to pay for these features. 

Of the 4,000 vehicle owners polled, respondents in the UK, Germany and China are more likely to believe that they should be standard equipment – like traction and stability control – rather than optional extras found in the same column as leather seats for example, when specifying a car. 

This reluctance to pay highlights why companies such as Kia, Hyundai and VW are starting to integrate a number of ADAS features on their cars as standard equipment. 

While US respondents were the most accepting of paying for ADAS, they said that they would only consider paying between US$427 (RM1,735) and US$505 (RM2,051) depending on an individual feature. 

Still, ADAS features are still less than mainstream, meaning that in most cases, drivers won't be experiencing the benefits until they buy their next car. 

However, consumers that have already sampled a latest-generation in-car infotainment system said that they would be willing to spend extra on further software updates, if they add new features. Some 74% of all respondents with such a system in their current car said that paying for updates that add value is not a problem. That figure jumps for younger drivers – 89% of US and 90% of Chinese Millennials said that they would be happy to pay to download.  

When asked about using their smartphones in the car, 52% of respondents globally said that the most common use was for navigation while 37% said that they also accessed music and new apps. 

Chinese drivers are the most likely to use a navigation app (56%) while German respondents were the most likely to use communication apps (33% compared with 14% in the US and 20% in the UK). — AFP Relaxnews

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