Buyers prefer safety tech to infotainment features

Younger drivers are willing to pay more for advanced technologies than older drivers

Published: April 23, 2015, 4:35 PM
Updated: April 25, 2015, 10:13 PM

Blind Spot Alert

Consumers are more willing to pay extra for safety technologies than for other features and younger drivers are willing to pay more than older drivers according to a new J.D. Power study.

Blind spot detection and prevention, night vision, and enhanced collision mitigation systems topped the list of features customers preferred and would pay for, based on the results of the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study.

A camera rearview mirror and self-healing paint completed the top five customer choices.

The least-desired technologies were health and wellness systems, hand gesture cockpit controls, hand gesture controlled seats, biometric driver sensors and haptic touch screens.

This inaugural study examined a total of 59 advanced vehicle features across six major categories: entertainment and connectivity; comfort and convenience; collision protection; driving assistance; navigation; and energy efficiency.

The findings demonstrate growing customer acceptance towards the concept of the vehicle taking over critical functions such as braking and steering, which are the foundational building blocks leading to the possibility of fully-autonomous driving, according to J.D. Power.

The study also found that Gen X and Gen Y respondents are more willing to accept various self-driving technologies than baby boomers and pre-boomers. The Pre-Boomer generation has a greater preference for lower levels of automation, such as traffic jam assist.

"Collision protection resonated extremely well across generations and across vehicle segments," said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power.

She also noted lukewarm interest in technologies such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that connect customers' phones to their vehicles.