People spend so much of their time in their cars. According to a study, over half (54 percent) of the adult population in the United States drive their cars to go to work. Most adults spend 15 to 30 minutes each way. About a third of all American commuters spend over an hour behind the wheel to and from work every day.
It is no surprise, then, that people invest so much money and time making additions to their cars to improve the driving experience as well as safety. Moreover, cars are still viewed as status symbols.
Over the years, various new technologies have been introduced to the market. Over the years, manufacturers have improved and digitized the dashboard, information, and entertainment features and controls added more safety measures and enabled connectivity. Drivers are also given the freedom to add or change tech on their cars depending on their needs and preferences.
Many drivers invest in Apple CarPlay installation to more seamlessly connect to their iPhones so that, when they drive, they can have access to iOS features. There is also a version for those who prefer Google’s Android Auto.
How Much Drivers Value Car Tech
Tech matters a lot to car owners. A lot of them are willing to pay more money to get a vehicle that already has in-car gadgets that they want.
Accenture polled car owners from Germany, China, and the U.S. about current and future automobile tech. The respondents were also asked if they are willing to pay a premium to get a car that has the tech they want. Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of the respondents will shell out up to 10 percent of the car’s price for infotainment systems that suit their lifestyle needs.
However, what consumers want the most in a car are remote and safety services such as eCall, a feature where the vehicle can automatically alert emergency centers in case an accident occurs. They also want bCall, a service that contacts the nearest vehicle recovery service in case the car breaks down.
Around 63 percent of owners said that they are interested in eCall. Almost half (41 percent) of them are willing to pay more for it.
Most drivers also want features that allow them to receive a diagnostic report on their car’s health. Over half of owners want functionalities that will help them locate their vehicle in a parking lot or in case it gets stolen.
What Drivers Do Not Need
Many car enthusiasts are excited to see new automobile tech introduced to the market to make driving a vehicle more comfortable, more enjoyable, and a lot safer. However, there are drivers who wish to stick to the basics instead of filling their vehicles with every new shiny gadget.
Another survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that three in four drivers do not want unnecessary technology in their vehicles.
The majority of drivers polled (2,000 people) said that car tech has become too complicated for them to use, and they prefer to buy and use a vehicle that does not have a lot of devices and has a lower price tag. In fact, about a third of respondents shared that their cars are burdened by the addition of too much tech.
A previous study from Dacia found that the average driver only uses 40 percent of the systems in their respective vehicles. The radio, parking sensors, and satellite navigation are a few of the technologies that people use most often in their vehicles.
The Downside of Car Tech
In addition, too much car tech can be a source of distraction. Many experts have voiced concerns over the potential of screens on dashboards and other automobile technologies to cause accidents. While car manufacturers have developed features to prevent drivers from checking their mobile phones while behind the wheel, it is still not perfect.
A few years ago, four teenagers were driving back home from spring break when their vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and slammed into an 18-wheeler truck. Three of them died in the accident. Reports revealed that preceding the crash, the driver glanced at the navigation app on her smartphone.
Many drivers agree that it is dangerous to use their smartphones while driving because it takes their hands off the wheel. However, most still use their mobile devices while on the road hands-free. The law permits hands-free phone use as a better alternative. People multitask when they drive, calling their loved ones or listening to music.
Previous studies found that infotainment technology contributes to driver error. Listening to music is safer because it is not interactive, but other activities still create hazards. Talking on the phone while driving can change the driver’s behavior. Some controlled studies using simulators have shown that, when people are engaged in conversations, they do not look at the sides of the vehicle or the mirrors as often.
Many car manufacturers are racing to introduce new tech to the market and gain the attention of car drivers. Many car drivers love tech. However, some believe that some technologies are unnecessary. Experts are also concerned that it is causing distraction.