New car buyers want connectivity, advanced features

Consumers thinking about buying a new car are looking for increased connectivity and advanced technologies, according to new research from IHS Automotive.

Vehicle connectivity can provide a wide range of features, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), smartphone integration, telematics, infotainment, Wi-Fi, remote vehicle controls, and autonomous driving.

The research firm surveyed more than 4,000 people intending to purchase a new vehicle within the next three years, revealing that ADAS systems are viewed as most desirable. However, consumers expect advanced safety systems to be included in new vehicles at no charge — since electronic stability control systems and pre-charged brakes have become standard equipment.

Infotainment systems are another popular feature and most consumers are willing to pay for software updates that improve or add functionality to their vehicle.

For in-car use of smartphones and for embedded displays, navigation is the most-used app, followed by weather, music and news.

A study released by Research and Markets late last year estimated that connected car services will generate nearly $40bn (£30bn) in annual revenue by 2020, driven by a host of applications.

IHS also asked vehicle owners about autonomous driving technology, revealing that nearly one third of those in all age categories would ride in a self-driving vehicle and purchase one. Another quarter of respondents suggested that while they would ride in a self-driving vehicle, they would not purchase one.

Looking at the responses according to age, it’s clear the younger generation feels more comfortable with the prospect of self-driving cars. More than half of the millennials questioned are ready to be driven in one and would purchase one, and almost three quarters are comfortable with artificial intelligence driving the vehicle.

IHS Automotive forecasts that 21 million vehicles with some form of autonomy will be sold in 2035.

“With substantial growth between now and then, it’s possible millennials could make up a large share of the initial customer base for these advanced vehicles,” the research firm concluded.

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