Survey: Connected drivers want auto safety, traffic solutions more than entertainment

It seems all this talk about needing to be connected, especially to social media, at all times, including while driving, might not be such a universal thing after all.

At least, that's what a Compass Intelligence survey of connected drivers indicates. "Maintenance and predictive analytics on a vehicles' health ranked the highest in end user requirements," states Keith Robinson, senior strategist at Compass Intelligence, in the press release. "This is an untapped opportunity for companies that participate in the in-vehicle wireless broadband market."

The survey found low interest in having entertainment DVD systems and that interest in this segment is dwindling. The other area of low interest is traditional mobile services, such as text messages and email. Social media feeds didn't rank high, either.

The results are illuminating in light of all the entertainment that's being packed into new and upcoming cars, not to mention the debate over distracted driving and what constitutes a distraction too big to keep drivers safe behind the wheel. Connected car efforts under way at institutions like Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) are keenly focused on how to make connected drivers safer by developing object-detection and other smart technologies, as opposed to adding more entertainment to dashboards.

What do drivers want? According to the survey, overall, end-users want products and services that can enhance the driving experience. The survey found that 66 percent of users want a system that detects when parts are malfunctioning before a complete breakdown. Sixty percent of users want real-time traffic updates, and more than 50 percent want a system that displays when preventative maintenance is due.

Consumers are also are willing to pay for a service that helps them reduce insurance rates.

The research was conducted online using Compass Intelligence's own Thought Leaders Panel and opt-in email lists from an unnamed Internet research panel vendor. For this survey, all respondents were over the age of 18, drove a vehicle and owned a smartphone. A total of 1,320 people completed the survey.

For more:
- see the press release
- see The Hollywood Reporter article

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