Consumers want connected cars, survey finds

Half of consumers consider connected features crucial to their next car purchase, a study by Telefonica has found.

Telefonica, which said that the number of vehicles with built-in connectivity will increase from 10 per cent of the overall market in 2013 to 90 per cent by 2020, found that in-built car connectivity and the ability to plug in a smartphone as well as increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation are now deal breakers when it comes to car sales.

Nissan’s general manager, Ian Digman said: “We are seeing a drive from consumers to actually have the same level of connectivity in the car that they would have whilst walking down the street, whilst sat in their front room, whilst sat on public transport. So just because they are spending two, three hours a day in a car, they don't want to be disconnected from their normal life.”

Big data

The drive towards connected cars spells new business opportunities for OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) who could use car data across a range of new services including customer service improvement, loyalty rewards and market intelligence.

Kia Motors' chief technology strategist Henry Bzeih said: “The beauty of that technology is that the communication protocol can be used for a host of other services beyond vehicle communication, so it benefits the wider infrastructure too.”

Equally, data can be used to return cost-savings to the consumer.

Greg Ross, director of product strategy and infotainment at General Motors Company said: “Connectivity is a chance for OEMs to look at how we can help to reduce costs for customers and make cost of ownership lower by giving advice on how to drive more fuel efficiently, or helping you find the lowest cost source of fuel or the most efficient route. Can I, by providing data for things like usage based insurance or pay as you drive insurance, save you money on insurance?”

General Motors signed a deal with AT&T to put 4G into millions of its cars across North America last year.

Telefonica commissioned YouGov to survey 5,012 driver’s licence-holding adults across Brazil, Germany, UK, US and Spain in January this year. Just over a thousand (1,019) of these adults were in the UK.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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