Consumers want in-vehicle tech (but willingness to pay for it varies)

A new global survey on consumer preferences for automotive technology finds more consumers desire advanced technology in their next new vehicle. However, their willingness to pay for technology demonstrates a wide variety of viewpoints from consumers across leading global markets, says the survey from business information provider IHS Markit.

Things look bright for Apple tech such as CarPlay, Maps and Apple Music. As in-vehicle technology continues its growth trajectory, so too does consumer desire to integrate their mobile apps into their vehicle, according to IHS Markit. Among those surveyed, nearly all consumers who had familiarity with replicating their smartphone system onto an in-vehicle display indicated they were interested or somewhat interested in having this feature in their next new vehicle.

In addition, nearly half of all respondents indicated navigation apps as the leading use of smartphone apps in the vehicle. Weather apps followed with 40% of respondents using them in the vehicle, and 36% of respondents use music apps while in their vehicle. This creates significant opportunity for screen projection solutions, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

More than 5,000 vehicle owners intending to purchase a new vehicle within the next 36 months were surveyed in the 2017 Automotive Connected Services and Apps Consumer Analysis, representing five key automotive markets – the U.S., Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom. This is the fifth annual survey of its kind from IHS Markit and identified key attributes for consumers, providing insight into preferences, desires and future interest as new vehicle intenders return to market.

Creature comforts topped consumers’ interests at the top of the list of technologies those surveyed would be willing to pay for. Consumers in four regions reported the highest propensity to invest in sunroof-moonroof technology in their new vehicle, with consumers in Germany willing to spend an additional $642 to have their next new vehicle equipped with one. Consumers surveyed in China agreed to pay $440 for similar technology, says Colin Bird, automotive technology analyst for IHS Markit and co-author of the report.

Alternatively, consumers in the US were most likely to pay for a rear-seat entertainment system, indicating a threshold investment of an estimated $640. Rear-seat entertainment ranked second for UK and China audiences, with a price point of $388, but didn’t resonate as a top choice by consumers in any other region included in the survey.

According to IHS Markit forecasts, by 2022, significant volumes of new vehicles will be equipped with telematics and more than half of the global fleet of vehicles in operation will be connected. (Telematics branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.)

In comparison, 32% of all respondents surveyed agreed that telematics would be a feature they would be willing to pay for in their next new vehicle, and in-car Wi-Fi was noted by 29%t. However, when asked about cost, both of these technologies were mentioned with a much lower price point by consumers willing to pay for them and different price points that varied by region.

More than half of all respondents indicated they already have at least one vehicle that featured an infotainment or navigation system that offered features such as roadside assistance, stolen vehicle assistance, crash notification or turn-by-turn navigation. Thirty-two percent of respondents globally indicated roadside assistance as the most important telematics feature in a new vehicle, with stolen vehicle assistance important to 28% of respondents.

Automatic crash notification and turn-by-turn navigation were both preferred by one quarter of respondents. In addition, the inclusion of real-time traffic information was overwhelmingly preferred by 51% of total respondents, with dynamic routing and a desire for maps to be updated wirelessly based on current conditions preferred by 41% for routing and 36% for wireless updates, respectively.