Does In Vehicle Technology Make Driving Safer?

Connected car data is the fuel for some of the most interesting new in-vehicle technology services that are now becoming available to car owners and drivers. When we fielded our consumer survey in five European countries last winter with SBD Automotive, we asked a number of questions to understand perceptions about the safety impact of in-vehicle technology as well as:

  • How consumers feel about technology in cars in general
  • How they approach purchase decisions
  • How they view the car ownership experience

Since our survey respondents have all purchased a 2016-2019 model year car within the last three years, they are more likely to have been exposed to the newer technologies than a general car owner population.

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In-Car Technologies Generate Mixed Feelings

Connected car features have significantly improved safety for drivers and passengers and provided other benefits as well. However, European car owners’ reactions to our survey agree/ disagree statements reveal that they are still forming their opinions regarding technology and cars.

Attitudes About Technology in Cars

Is tech making cars safer?

Sixty percent of our respondents agree or strongly agree with the statement that “technology is making cars safer.” Fifty-two percent agree with the statement that “having the latest technology available in my car is important to me,” 51% agree with the statement that “technology is making cars fun to drive” and thirty six percent agree with the statement “I do not spend money on various car accessories; I think it’s just unnecessary frills”. When we asked U.S. consumers the same question in 2018, we saw much stronger levels of agreement with technology’s role in driving, across the board. (Because the U.S. survey used a different scale, we cannot make direct comparisons.)

Interestingly, consumers over the age of 35 had stronger agreement with technology’s safety role compared to their younger counterparts. This was the only statistically significant difference by age or gender. German consumers also expressed relatively stronger agreement compared to UK and Spanish consumers.

Perceptions About Technology Making Cars Safer, by Age and by Country

Perceptions about technology making cars safer - by age

Technology's role in making cars safer by country

OEM Action Item: Consumer Education

There’s still a need for OEMs to educate consumers about the benefits of new connected car technologies, and particularly those that relate to safety. We’d love to see OEMs create and promote more interactive, explanatory videos about advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and the role of car data—LIDAR data, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, hazard data, etc.—in making these services work.

OEM Action Item: Expand the Portfolio of Value-Added Safety Services

OEMs can enhance their value proposition by thinking beyond the car itself. For example, crowdsourced hazard data offers valuable information about weather and road conditions. OEMs could incorporate this data into a hazard alerting service. Predictive maintenance is another area where car data plays a role in improving safety. For example, these solutions could prevent tire blowouts and unexpected breakdowns.

Read Our Full Report for Much More

These findings on car technologies are just a few of the insights contained in our full report, What European Consumers Think about Connected Car Data and Privacy. Be sure to download your copy now and give it a thorough read!

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