Consumers want more technology in their vehicles, both for safety and infotainment purposes, and they expect it to appear in all vehicles, not just luxury lines, according to a new study from Accenture.

This study follows a report from Celent last week that declared the arrival of telematics, which provides safety features along with its driver monitoring systems. But based on Accenture’s findings, consumers appear to be on-board with just about any technology enhancing the safety and connectivity of the driving experience.

While experts have lamented potential safety and underwriting concerns involved in increasing connectivity intended for social or entertainment purposes, 63 percent of the respondents wanted car-to-car communications and 59 percent would be interested in having smartphone controls on their steering wheel. Moreover, 58 percent of consumers would like to be able to read and dictate e-mails while in their vehicle, and 57 percent would be interested in having a windshield that acts as a visual monitor, showing the driver’s vehicle speed, for example, as well as what is happening on the road ahead. 

As telematics seems poised to shore up underwriting with pay-as-you-drive plans, drivers appear to be more concerned with the potential of technologies to serve as safety crutches while increasing personal productivity on the road.

Accenture surveyed 7,000 drivers in seven countries and found that among the safety technologies currently offered, an overwhelming majority—91 percent—said they would most like to use is a lane-changing/blind-spot warning system. When asked about future technologies, 83 percent of respondents would like to have in-vehicle technologies that can automatically contact a vehicle-recovery organization when their vehicle breaks down, and 75 percent want a system that automatically calls the nearest emergency center if a crash were to occur.

The survey shows that nine out of 12 technologies consumers would most like to have in their vehicles are safety-related. Specifically, 83 percent would like anti-lock breaking systems, while 74 percent and 72 percent, respectively, would favor having night vision and reversing sensors. Additionally, 69 percent said they would like to use a lane-keeping system, 68 percent, an in-vehicle alcohol tester, and 63 percent would welcome a fatigue warning device in their vehicles. 

Also according to the findings, consumer expectations for in-car technologies are no longer limited to the luxury vehicle segment. Of the mass-market respondents, those who drive medium/intermediate, compact, small or mini vehicles responded with almost identical rates of desire and expectations when compared to those respondents in the luxury segment.

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