Survey reveals why drivers want safety, not Apple CarPlay | VentureBeat | Transportation

Car manufacturers, take heed: While you’re hard at work redefining the future of driving by developing completely autonomous vehicles, today’s consumers are looking for new cars loaded with high-tech safety features. But though they’re willing to pay for some of these advances, they may not be prepared to pay as much as these features actually cost to make.

In researching Americans’ feelings toward the ever-evolving technology within cars, surveyed 1,000 drivers to find out what features they cared about most. Of the 10 most important features, eight were safety-related. Side air bags were regarded as the most-desired feature, which is appropriate considering these previously optional additions are now standard. Blind spot warning systems, automatic emergency braking, and reverse rearview cameras were also some of the features favored by American motorists.

Silicon Valley may want to cover its collective ears for this next part: Some of the least important tech features are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. While a few companies have recently aired commercials touting 2017 or 2018 flagship models that carry these automotive operating systems, the features themselves are far removed from those most sought-after, namely, USB ports and cruise control.

Safety features, such as front fog lamps and rear parking sensors, were seen as more important than Bluetooth connectivity. While plenty of Americans are looking to cut the cord at home, they’re happy with their car’s USB ports so long as an automatic emergency braking system is part of the total package. This is where manufacturers need to pivot and think differently about constructing feature packages that will appeal to consumers — while carefully considering cost.

The survey indicated that some of the most sought-after features are undervalued by consumers. Automotive companies face an uphill battle when it comes to educating buyers about the actual cost of these upgrades….

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