As those who attended the AADA National Dealer Convention would be aware, connectivity and digitalisation have become the biggest drivers of the retail automotive business.

This was confirmed by a recent global survey predicting that more than half the global new car fleet will be connected by 2020.

According to IHS Automotive forecasts, 55 per cent of annual global new vehicle sales in 2020 will be vehicles that are connected. Findings from the IHS Automotive global consumer survey, Connected Cars, indicate that new advanced technologies and increased connectivity are driving consumer preferences as they consider new vehicles.

More than 4,000 vehicle owners intending to purchase a new vehicle within the next 36 months were surveyed, representing four key automotive markets: the US, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The survey was designed to identify the services considered ‘must haves’ by consumers intending to purchase a new vehicle for personal use in the next three years. It also sought to determine the willingness of consumers to pay, and assess how much they would be willing to spend.

Manufacturers and technology suppliers use the findings to help address market needs as they develop new solutions for the global marketplace.

Drivers want ADAS but don’t want to pay for it

The survey found that although Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are most desirable among global survey respondents, consumers do not want to pay for them. Traditionally packaged within vehicles as part of optional features like leather seats and high end infotainment systems, consumers expect advanced safety systems to be included in new vehicles at no charge – since electronic stability control systems and pre-charged brakes have become standard equipment on a global scale.

Software updates worth paying for

In contrast, 74 per cent of consumers who currently own a vehicle with an infotainment system said they were willing to pay for software updates that improved or added functionality to their vehicle.

Smartphone nav apps most popular

When using smartphones in vehicles, the most often used apps by consumers were those intended for navigation (52 per cent of respondents globally). Apps for weather were second with 41 percent of respondents, while 37 percent of consumers reported using both music and news apps while in their vehicles.

Young drivers on board with autonomy

Nearly one third of survey respondents in all age categories indicated they would ride in a self-driving vehicle and purchase one. Another 25 percent would ride in one but would not buy one.

More than half of under-20s said they were ready for autonomous cars and would purchase one; while nearly 75 percent were comfortable with artificial intelligence driving the vehicle.

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