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Autotrader Study Shows Consumers Want Vehicles with Autonomous Features
New data reveals 70% of consumers are more likely to consider vehicles with autonomous features such as parking assist, collision avoidance and automatic braking.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An increasing number of car shoppers desire technology features in the next vehicle they purchase according to the findings of the 2016 Autotrader Car Tech Impact Study, released today. The research was conducted online on Autotrader's behalf by KS&R online among 1,012 U.S. vehicle shoppers in September 2015. In its second year, the study provides insight into how vehicle technology impacts consumer vehicle purchase behavior.

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The newest study shows 70 percent of car shoppers surveyed are more likely to consider vehicles with autonomous features, such as parking assist, collision avoidance and automatic braking.

"As consumers hear more about autonomous features like automatic braking and collision avoidance technologies, and they begin to understand how they work or actually experience them, they appreciate what they do and they want them," said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader senior analyst.

Autonomous features and seamless device integration are two things consumers want in their next car with 47 percent of consumers surveyed saying they would sync their vehicle with their smart watch if they owned a smart watch. However, when it comes to technology features greater emphasis is placed on safety with 83 percent of consumers surveyed saying advanced safety features are important to them.

Consumers have specific demands about the car technology they're shopping for. The study revealed that consumers have specific expectations for smartphone integration, 77 percent saying they want a car with all the technology features they want instead of car color (up 8 percentage points from 2014). In fact, another 57 percent of consumers surveyed said they would prefer auto manufacturers focused on better integrating smartphones into a generic system that would be available in all vehicles from all manufacturers such as Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

"Consumers have learned to integrate the technology into their lives," said Rachelle Petusky, Autotrader research analyst.  "When they get into their cars they expect to stay connected with simple and easy smartphone integration. The manufacturers who blend that with autonomous features are the ones who will win."

In terms of how important technology is to consumers, 77 percent said a car with all of the technology features they want ranks more important that car color, up 8 percentage points from the 2014 study.

Other notable findings from the study include:

  • 46% of consumers surveyed would pay up to $1,499 for an interactive dashboard
  • 65% of consumers surveyed said they would switch brands to get the technology features they wanted (up 9% from 2014)
  • 65% of consumers surveyed say they would watch the road even though they would be driving in a self-driving or autonomous vehicle; only 11% say they would use the time to work.
  • 39% of consumers would prefer the navigation system on a smartphone rather than the one built into their vehicles (up 19% from 2014)

Autotrader experts will be available during 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 6-9 to discuss the results of this study – credentialed media attending the show are encouraged to stop by the media rooms in Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands for more information and live consumer reactions to product launches. Those not attending the show can contact the Autotrader PR team for more information and to arrange for interviews.

About the Research
This study was conducted by KS&R, Inc. in partnership with Research Now on behalf of and included 1,012 American vehicle owners aged 18 or older who participated in an online survey during September, 2015.  Results were weighted as needed for age, gender, and race/ethnicity.  Sampling error is an estimated +/-3%; a full methodology is available.

About Autotrader 
Autotrader is the most visited third-party car shopping site, with the most engaged audience of in-market shoppers.  As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today's empowered consumer looking to sell or find the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader's comprehensive marketing solutions guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience.

Autotrader is wholly owned by Cox Automotive which owns Kelley Blue Book (®), Manheim Auctions, Dealertrack® and a portfolio of software companies that optimize inventory and advertising online. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Autotrader

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