Consumers want connected cars


Nearly 80% of car buyers globally would delay new car purchase by one year to get connected feature

Three out of every four consumers said they consider connected car services an important feature in their next car purchase, according to a new study.

Almost 75% of those surveyed globally, after learning about connected car services, consider them an important feature in their next car, with 78% of car buyers globally saying they would delay a purchase by one year to buy a car with connected car services from their preferred brand.

The study, from AT&T Drive Studio and Ericsson, looked at the influence that connected car features and services are expected to have on customers’ vehicle purchase decisions in the future.

The term “connected car,” as defined in the study, is a car equipped with a wireless internet connection. This allows the car to run applications such as streaming music services and internet radio, use navigation services with real time traffic updates, conduct local searches, use restaurant services and more, all from the car’s dashboard. This connectivity also allows the car to operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot, sharing a wireless internet connection with other devices in the car.

Orvar Hurtig, vice president, Ericsson Global Services and head of industry and society at Ericsson, said: “For the second year in a row, we are witnessing a growing trend where consumers in different parts of the world are not only increasingly aware of the term connected car, but they are placing greater importance on connected car features and services.

“In addition to safety and infotainment features enabled by connectivity, automakers can also use the connectivity for over the air software updates and advanced downloadable engine configurations. For the consumer, this means that connected car services will open up the ability to add new capabilities to their car and enhance their driving experience for years after they purchase a connected car.”

The study found that 62% percent of US survey respondents are aware of the term connected car. Also, the Wi-Fi hotspot ranked as the number one feature that US customers are willing to purchase for their car. When priced, US consumers prefer to add their connected car wireless connectivity to a shared data plan.

Said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility: “This study confirms that drivers today are tech savvy and value services that improve their driving experience. It’s great to see that more drivers understand what a connected car enables them to do. With this increased awareness, we believe you’ll see adoption of integrated wireless connectivity in the car continue to take off.”

Ericsson is a contributor to the AT&T Drive platform, providing a cloud-based platform on which automakers can choose to run their entire, customised connected car experience in a secure manner.

In 2014, AT&T launched two major initiatives to lead innovation in the connected car space. The first was a pioneering connected car innovation centre in Atlanta, called the AT&T Drive Studio. It also launched a new global automotive solution and development platform, AT&T Drive.

AT&T Drive Studio features a working lab and showroom to build and exhibit the latest innovations. It is a hub where AT&T works directly with companies and responds to automakers’ opportunities.

This is the second year for the study which focused on connected car awareness, feature preferences and purchase drivers. The data was sourced from customers likely to buy a car in the next three years in the US, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China and the survey was conducted in July 2015.


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