Consumers Want Cars Equipped With More Safety Devices and Technology That Offers Driver Assistance, Advanced Communications

NEW YORK; Jan. 9, 2012 — While most consumers continue to place great importance on automotive safety systems, there is also growing demand for automated driver-assistance and traffic-avoidance technologies, according to a new global study by Accenture.

In a study of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), 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.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the respondents said they would also like technology that could stop their vehicle and automatically send out an emergency call when, for example, the driver or a passenger suffers a heart attack or similar serious illness. And, 83 percent would welcome technology that can identify traffic signals, congestion, accidents, and delays — warning the driver in advance of such situations.

The Accenture study reinforces the fact that consumers are currently focused on IVI safety-driven technologies. However, it also shows that in the future, they would like their cars to be equipped with more communication- and information-related capabilities — creating the ‘connected vehicle’.

For example, 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.

The survey also shows that in the future, 63 percent of the respondents would like to use 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.

According to the findings, consumer expectations for in-car technologies are no longer limited to the luxury vehicle segment. For example, of the mass-market respondents, those who drive medium/intermediate, compact, small or mini vehicles, 89 percent would like lane-changing and blind spot warning systems included in their vehicles now — compared to 91 percent among all study participants. In addition, 84 percent said they would be interested in having the automated breakdown call system in the near future compared to 83 percent among all respondents.

Accenture estimates that the growing popularity of IVI technologies could add up to $200 in revenues per vehicle in mature markets every year as the use of services provided by IVI technology increases among drivers and passengers.

“In-vehicle infotainment systems are quickly becoming part of mass-market car-buying as the latest IVI technologies inside today’s connected vehicle are increasingly as much a determinant of sales as design, fuel efficiency and performance, “said Marcello Tamietti, managing director of Accenture’s Connected Vehicle group. “As consumer desire for IVI capabilities grows, it will be important for automotive manufacturers to seek partnerships that can offer a sustained, seamless IVI experience.”

The study clearly shows that consumer interest in IVI technologies is spreading around the globe. The following are highlights by country of the in-vehicle capabilities respondents said they would like in the future:

  • U.S. — 91 percent of respondents not using the technology currently would favor having an automated breakdown call system, while 90 percent would opt for traffic-avoidance technology. 81 percent of respondents without the technology said they would like monitors included in their vehicles, so passengers in the rear are able to view DVDs or television. And, 79 percent want the capability to stream music.
  • France — 92 percent of respondents not currently using the technology are interested in having a traffic-avoidance device, 89 percent view the automated breakdown call capability as important, and 87 percent would like to operate a Smartphone using controls on the steering wheel. As in the U.S., 83 percent would like monitors included in the vehicle which allow rear-seat passengers to view DVDs and television.
  • Italy — The majority of those polled who do not have the technology in question currently would like traffic-avoidance and automated- breakdown call capabilities. 79 percent would like monitors for rear-seat DVD and television viewing, while 75 percent want Smartphone controls on the steering wheel, and 73 percent would like the ability to read and dictate e-mails while driving.
  • China — China consumer IVI preferences are fairly reflective of the U.S. and European markets with 93 percent and 89 percent of respondents not using the given technology,, respectively, wanting traffic-avoidance and automated breakdown calling capabilities. 72 percent of respondents said they also would like music streaming features in their cars.
  • Malaysia — Consumers here are much more focused on future technologies that involve communication and information systems. 92 percent without the technology currently would like the automated breakdown calling capability, and 82 percent would be interested in the traffic-avoidance feature. 81 percent favor having a stolen vehicle recovery and tracker capability, while 77 percent would like the use of the automated emergency call capability in a crash situation, and 72 percent would like having a feature that stops the vehicle and automatically sends out an emergency call in a dire medical situation.
  • South Korea and Brazil — These countries are similar in their IVI preferences. In South Korea, 93 percent of consumers surveyed who do not have the technology in question would prefer an automated breakdown call system, 89 percent would be interested in stolen vehicle recovery and tracker technology, and 87 percent would favor having the vehicle automatically call the nearest emergency center when a crash happens. 81 percent would like the use of a traffic-avoidance system. In Brazil, 89 percent of people without the specific technology would like to have the automated breakdown call system and traffic- avoidance technologies available, while 86 percent would opt for the automated emergency calling system in the case of a crash and 85 percent would be interested in the stolen vehicle recovery and tracker capability.

“IVI technologies are capturing the imagination of consumers around the world, whether in developed or emerging markets,” said Tamietti. “The key challenge for automakers will be keeping pace with the ever-changing technologies car-buyers want and capitalizing on the tremendous growth potential that the IVI market represents.”

About the Study

Accenture, through independent research company Coleman Parkes Research, conducted online interviews among adult members of the public in seven countries in December 2011. The countries included the US, France, Italy, China, Malaysia, South Korea, and Brazil. Each survey sample included 1,000 respondents per country. The consumers interviewed also were representative of the luxury and mass-market vehicle segments. All were current vehicle owners and were aged 18 or over.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with more than 244,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is

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