Automotive Innovations – what are shoppers looking for?
It’s always interesting to see the new and upcoming technology that luxury automakers reveal at their auto shows. The technology that is released today could potentially be commonplace for vehicles in the future – and not only for luxury vehicles. This can be traced back to the early versions of the seat belts that Saab offered in 1958, the first implementation of ABS.
We have seen autonomous features become more frequent in vehicles in past years. However, full integration into autonomous autos is unlikely to become the standard until consumers place it at a higher priority. According to Mintel, April 2017, only “21% of consumers display interest in autonomous vehicle technology”. This may be due to the fact that many people believe autonomous features may be too expensive. Others view them as a detriment towards safety, causing drivers to become complacent while operating their vehicle. Until automakers can sway the common misconception of consumers and prove autonomous features to be reliable, safe and affordable, it’s unlikely that the consumer interest will increase.
Audio, GPS & Bluetooth
Technology and stereo/audio features are seeing an increase in demand, and thus, becoming more standardized in vehicles. 61% of consumers ages 18-44 consider built-in-GPS/Navigation to be something they would consider for their next vehicle; and 68% for those over 45. With Bluetooth, passive keyless entry, and smartphone capability following suit.
We can also assume those who have become accustomed to these features are unlikely to forgo them on their next purchase. With the increasing reliance on smartphones in our lives, it’s only a matter of time until smartphone capabilities become a fully standardized option, similar to power windows and locks on entry-level cars of today.
Finally, for people who do not have the features that many of us may consider “standard” – such as power equipment, ample storage space, seat memory function and cruise control – the interest in obtaining a vehicle with these features is especially high. Nearly ¾ of users currently driving vehicles do not have these features. This is where automakers are investing their attention. For example, only 35% of consumers have remote starters, and 71% of those who do not have remote start, would like it in their next vehicle. Of the 55% of consumers that don’t have heated seats, 60% show interest. These features are in such high demand that it’s no wonder it’s becoming increasingly more common, and more automakers are making these features standard.
Though luxury automakers introduce new advancements each and every year; consumers still always expect technology to be reliable, safe, and affordable. It’s not unlikely that many of the new features introduced each year may become commonplace across all makes/models in the future, but they must meet the consumer’s 3 expectations of reliability, safety and affordability before there will be ample demand.