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Collision-prevention features are the things drivers really want these days, at least according to J.D. Power’s first-ever U.S. Tech Choice Study, the results of which were just released today.

And surprisingly consumers didn’t prefer these features by a narrow margin, but by a landslide. “Within the top 10, collision prevention occupied seven of those 10 spaces,” J.D. Power executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface (HMI) Kristin Kolodge said while speaking at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit this afternoon. “This was very, very notable,” she said. Also, these findings squash clichés that these items are only for older drivers or luxury vehicles.

Out of 59 different technologies included in the survey, rear-view cameras and self-healing paint were the only non-collision features to crack the top five. Clearly, things that reduce the burden of driving and improve safety got the most attention.

Nuts and Bolts

For its inaugural Tech Choice Study J.D. Power surveyed more than 5,300 drivers between January and March of this year. Respondents had either purchased or leased a vehicle in the last half decade. The study covered 59 different technologies in six separate categories (collision protection, comfort and convenience, driving assistance, energy efficiency, entertainment and connectivity as well as navigation) and 34 vehicle segments.

Kolodge said this survey is designed to answer one simple question, what people want in their next vehicles. “What are the technologies that customers most and least prefer?”

The results of the 2015 Tech Choice Study should help product planners understand what consumers want.

What’s Hot and What’s Not

Technologies like night vision, blind-spot monitoring and collision-mitigation braking topped the list of features motorists crave, items that pave the way for automated and autonomous driving, which people are starting to accept and trust. Things like wireless device connectivity, remote vehicle diagnostics and a rear-view cameras ranked highly as well and by all generations, not just tech-savvy youths.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are fuel-saving features, things like active aero shutters. “There was a really low appetite for energy recovery [and hybrid stuff],” said Kolodge. Perhaps this is because fuel prices in the United States have been quite low.

Apple vs. Google

Curiously Kolodge noted that Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto – two much-hyped connectivity technologies – received lower-than-expected driver-preference scores. “Generation X was actually the most interested in [these systems],” she said, though technological partisanship has migrated beyond computers and smartphones to a new battleground: the dashboard.

Respondents preferred technology that was similar to the devices they already own. For instance, Android users rated Apple’s CarPlay technology as “unacceptable” almost twice as frequently as they did a solar glass roof. On the other side of the coin, iPhone users were similarly negative about Google’s in-car offering.

Another Apple vs. Android breakdown has to do with income ...
For the rest of this story, Drivers Want Safety Features Most of All: Study please visit
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