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New U.S. Tech Choice Study: Consumers Most Interested in Collision Avoidance in Their Next New Car

New U.S. Tech Choice Study: Consumers Most Interested in Collision Avoidance in Their Next New Car

By Philly Murtha, April 22, 2015

Three of the top five new technologies that consumers express the most interest in having in their next vehicle are advanced safety systems for blind-spot detection and prevention, night vision, and collision mitigation, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2015 U.S.Tech Choice Study.SM

The remaining two non-collision protection technologies among the top five most desired are camera rearview mirror (driving assistance category) and self-healing paint (comfort and convenience category).

The new study, which is based on an online survey of more than 5,300 consumers who purchased or leased a new vehicle in the past 5 years, measures consumer preference for emerging and future technologies and also gauges perceived value related to price.

Some 59 advanced vehicle features or systems are evaluated and organized in six major classifications: entertainment and connectivity; comfort and convenience; collision protection; driving assistance; navigation; and energy efficiency.

Price is the most important factor in considering a technology for consumers regardless of age. However, Gen Y1 is least sensitive to price and also more willing to pay for new technologies vs. members of Gen X, Boomer, and Pre-Boomer generations. For instance, Gen Y consumers, accounting for more than one-fourth (27.7%) of new-vehicle sales in 2015, according to the Power Information Network(R) (PIN) from J.D. Power, say they are willing to spend an average of $3,703 on technologies in their next vehicle, the study finds.

Gen X is willing to spend $3,007 on technologies, while Boomers, accounting for 37.1% of new-vehicle sales in 2015, is willing to spend an average of $2,416 on technology. Pre-Boomers only want to spend an average of $2,067 for technologies.

"Although there is tremendous interest in collision-protection technologies, there is little interest in energy-efficiency technologies--such as active shutter grille vents and solar glass roofs--because of improvements in fuel economy as well as relatively low fuel prices," Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power, said.

A few findings are summarized:
  • Gen Y and Gen X express more interest than do Boomers and Pre-Boomers in full self-driving automation technology that performs critical driving functions and monitors road conditions.
  • Pre-Boomers, in contrast, prefer lower levels of automation, such as traffic-jam assist.
  • Blind-spot detection and prevention has a high preference level at all price ranges.
  • Advanced sensor technologies, such as seats controlled by hand gestures, have low consumer preference scores as does the navigation category.
  • Smartphones play an important role in consumers' lives and within a vehicle, yet Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto technologies consistently have the lowest preference scores across generations. In addition, the preference for each technology depends on which smartphone consumers own.

In summary, Kolodge points out that the new 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study's findings indicate a growing acceptance among consumers of technology in which they are able to handle critical driving functions in a vehicle such as braking and steering, which may in turn lead to the possibility of fully autonomous driving in the future.

1 J.D. Power defines generational groups as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946); Boomers (1946-1964); Gen X (1965-1976); and Gen Y (1977-1994).

Additional Research:

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