2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study Results
Autonomous driving--an automotive technology that's still being developed and tested--is gaining consumer interest and might be widely accepted even before it's available. That's one of the findings of the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study,SM which was fielded in March of this year.
According to the study, 37% of respondents say that they "probably would" purchase fully autonomous driving--which would allow a vehicle to control its own acceleration, braking, and steering, without any human interaction--if it were available. Predictably, if they were given a theoretical price of $3,000 for the option, only 20% say they probably would purchase it. Slightly higher percentages of those surveyed say that they would pay for individual semi-autonomous features such as automatic parallel parking, emergency stop assist, traffic jam assist, and speed limit assist. Autonomous driving finds greatest favor among younger, male, urban consumers. According to the study, 31% of owners of premium vehicles say they'd pay $3,000 for fully autonomous driving, versus 18% of owners of non-premium vehicles.
The study also reveals that consumers are beginning to take the latest safety-oriented technologies for granted, and are paying more attention to features that might provide a slight edge in driving efficiency and enjoyment. Seventy percent of those surveyed say they'd "definitely" or "probably" purchase LED headlights with their next vehicle; 69% voted for natural language voice activation and the next generation of head-up displays. Wireless connectivity appeals to 68% of those surveyed; a remote vehicle diagnostics feature intrigues 65% of respondents. In each case, those percentages drop appreciably when a theoretical price is quoted.
The challenge for the manufacturer, thus, might lie in determining which features should be offered as standard equipment, and which as options, and how to price them.
The 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study is based on responses from more than 17,400 vehicle owners. The study includes 23 primary technologies, each with related secondary technologies: device connectivity; navigation; safety systems; premium sound systems; a key emerging technologies packaging exercise; an emerging technologies adoption calculator; and expanded psychographic and lifestyle-driven content.