Actualites > Safety and security driving consumer interest in connected cars

Safety and security driving consumer interest in connected cars

 - 10/12/2015

The appetite for and interest in subscription-based connected car features is at a new high among the vehicle owning pubic, according to Strategy Analytics.

However, a new study from the research firm out this week, which surveyed the opinions of consumers across the US, Europe and China, shows that it's safety and time-sensitive features, rather than distraction-free access to services such as Twitter, that are powering the trend and for which drivers would be prepared to pay a monthly fee.

"Strong value was placed on services which provide the perception of increased safety and security; the high percentage of consumers willing to pay for these remote vehicle management services reflects this tendency," said Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author.

Safety first

For instance, services like GM's OnStar have been independently proven to save lives. It summons emergency services in the event of an accident, and accurately predicts the severity of injuries and briefs the first responders accordingly.

Likewise, apps and services that can track a stolen car, remotely diagnose mechanical or electronic faults and provide remote control of features such as air conditioning and locking mechanisms, are all proving persuasive.

JD Power's annual DRiVE report, which measures US car owners' feelings regarding in-car technology found that 20% of consumers have never used the majority their car's connected features. Drivers were least likely to have used a concierge service, a routing service or any built-in apps.

Smartphones, not smart cars

Furthermore, pieces of tech including Apple Play, Android Auto and in-vehicle voice texting were singled out as features that more than one in four drivers don't want on their next car.

"In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they're familiar with the device and it's accurate," said JD Power's Kristin Kolodge.

Making the connection

A conclusion shared by Vilta: "Unfortunately, with the proliferation of the smartphone, many consumers already have and pay for access to many services," he said. All of which means that despite growing interest in safety and security, getting consumers to take on what amounts to a second subscription is proving challenging for carmakers -- unless they focus heavily on promoting these benefits if they're to get consumers to make the connection.

"The value proposition for OEMs is especially strong for services which can only be provided via a vehicle connection -- such as tracking a stolen vehicle, or remote diagnostic services," said Strategy Analytics director, Chris Schreiner.


Photo credits: © General Motors