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Autotrader: Consumers Want Advanced Safety Features on Their Next Vehicle

January 14, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Autotrader’s 2016 Car Tech Impact Study showed that consumers desire tech features in their next vehicle purchase, with 70% of the 1,012 U.S. vehicle shoppers the firm surveyed in this past September indicating that they are more likely to consider vehicles with autonomous features such as parking assist, collision avoidance and automatic braking.

Results of the study, which is in its second year and was conducted online by KS&R on behalf of the vehicle-shopping site, were released earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. It showed that 70% of consumers surveyed consider the tech features equipping their next features over color. Additionally, 65% would switch brands to get technology features they wanted.

"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, with the study showing that 83% of consumers surveyed believe advanced safety features are more important to them than infotainment features. However, 47% of consumers polled said they want to be able to 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 as well, particularly when it comes to smartphone integration. The study revealed that 57 percent of consumers surveyed prefer auto manufacturers focused on better integrating smartphones into a generic system that would be available in other vehicles from other manufacturers. An example of that is Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

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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