Share & Connect
New York, U.S.A. — In-car technology is revolutionizing the driving experience, especially when it comes to connectivity options, including mobile device connection to the Internet, navigation systems, emergency response systems, and driving habit monitoring devices. Yet, more than three in four car owners (76%) report that they believe in-car connectivity technologies are too distracting and even dangerous to have. In addition, more than half (55%) argue that automakers have taken technology for road use too far.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,634 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) of whom 1,991 own or lease a car, truck, minivan or SUV, surveyed online between May 7 and May 15, 2012 by Harris Interactive.
Beyond fearing how connectivity technology may impede driver focus, a strong majority of car owners (62%) also worry about how technology may interfere with their privacy, including where and how they drive. Just over two in five U.S. car owners (41%) believe that their insurance rates could increase because of what in-car technology reveals about their driving habits. This is more of a concern among younger drivers between 18 and 35 (46%) and men (46%).
American car owners are, however, conflicted when it comes to technology and their cars. Three in five (61%) view their car as a haven from the outside world and thus don’t want to always be connected while driving. Yet, more than half of car owners find that in-car connectivity makes driving more enjoyable (58%) and makes them feel safer (57%) while on the road. Men in particular enjoy having connectivity in their cars (64%) more than women (53%) and feel safer with technology on-board (61%) compared to women (54%).
The trend of embracing in-car technology is clearly generational. It’s the Baby Boomer generation that finds staying connected while in their vehicle the least important. Only 39% of car owners 50 to 66 think in-car connectivity is important compared to 58% of those who are between 18 and 35. When it comes to new car purchase decisions, two in three car owners between 18 and 35 (66%) say that the vehicle’s technology has some or a great deal of influence on the next car they choose. This drops to just (46%) for those between 50 and 66.
According to recent data produced by the 2012 Harris Poll AutoTECHCAST(SM) study, its safety technologies such as back-up cameras, blind spot warning systems and pedestrian sensors that have seen the most interest in the past year, compared to entertainment and connectivity technologies. For those new car buyers interested in entertainment and connectivity technologies, 24% state that they would consider the option of docking their smart phone in their vehicle compared to just 14% who would consider having their entertainment applications built-in.