The results of J.D. Power’s 2015 Tech Choice Study of 59 vehicle features in six categories show consumers are most interested in safety, not infotainment, technologies.
“There is a tremendous interest in collision-protection technologies across all generations (of people surveyed), which creates opportunities across the market,” Kristin Kolodge, executive director-driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power, says in a statement released ahead of the study results.
Blindspot detection and prevention, night vision and enhanced collision mitigation are three of the top five technologies most desired on their next vehicle by 5,300 new-vehicle owners surveyed online between January and March.
One of the two remaining technologies also is safety-related, a camera rearview mirror, although J.D. Power places it in the driver-assistance, rather than collision-avoidance category.
Rounding out the top five most desired technologies among respondents is self-healing paint.
The inaugural study found fuel-efficiency technologies, such as active shutter grilles, the least appealing. Kolodge blames low fuel prices, as well as other fuel-saving technology already on most of today’s new cars and light trucks for the low interest levels.
Not surprisingly, J.D. Power found the younger the person surveyed the more willing they are to spend on technology. Generation Y (born between 1977-1994) respondents are willing to pay an average $3,703 for technology on their next vehicle, compared with $3,007 among Gen Xers (1965-1976), $2,416 among Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and $2,067 among Pre-Boomers, those born before 1946.
Generation Y purchased 27.7% of new vehicles sold so far in 2015, just behind Baby Boomers, buyers of 37.1%, according to Power Information Network data.
Another study finding is a lack of interest in Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, technologies that consistently scored the lowest across all generations of those surveyed. J.D. Power says the poor performance is due to owners of rival smartphones eschewing the opposing operating system, although the research firm notes those owning phones compatible with either technology would choose it at “only a moderate rate.”
“The solution for (non-luxury) brands may be to offer both operating systems and allow customers to select the option best suited for them,” Kolodge says, adding luxury-car owners most often use Apple products.
Other study results include a much higher preference among younger respondents for full self-driving automation technology, a low preference for reverse auto braking and navigation-related technologies in all vehicle-price segments and little interest in advanced sensor technologies, such as haptic touchscreens.