Car shoppers are increasingly interested in tech features

This could be good news for Apple’s CarPlay: an increasing number of car shoppers want technology features in the next vehicle they purchase according to the findings of the 2016 Autotrader Car Tech Impact Study. (Autotrader is a third-party car shopping site.)

he research was conducted online on Autotrader's behalf by KS&R online among 1,012 U.S. vehicle shoppers in September 2015. 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. Of course, none of these features are in CarPlay now, but perhaps future iterations could add them.

Autonomous features and seamless device integration are two things consumers want in their next cars while 83% of consumers surveyed say advanced safety features are important to them than information and entertainment features and 47% of consumers surveyed said they would sync their vehicle with their smart watch if they owned a smart watch, says Michelle Krebs, Autotrader senior analyst. Which seems to bode well for the Apple 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% saying they want a car with all the technology features they want instead of car color (up eight percentage points from 2014). In fact, another 57% 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.

In terms of how important technology is to consumers, 77% said a car with all of the technology features they want ranks more important that car color, up eight 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)