Poll results: What technology do you want most in your next car?

We wondered what technology our readers are most excited to have in their next ride. And so, as much of humanity now does in its hour of need, we polled Twitter.

Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters
A fleet of Uber's Ford Fusion self driving cars are shown during a demonstration of self-driving automotive technology in Pittsburgh, Penn. on September 13, 2016.

Today's cars are loaded with high-tech features – some great, some not so great. While a bit of that technology comes standard on new vehicles, much of it doesn't, which means consumers have to pay extra for it.

And that presents a dilemma for many new-car shoppers: unless they're of unlimited means, they have to pick and choose the tech elements that are going to be most important to them.

Complicating matters is the fact that many of those elements are so new, consumers can't really be sure that they'll use them. A recent study from J.D. Power revealed that roughly 40 percent of vehicle owners had never bothered to use some of the most high-tech features on their vehicles, like built-in mobile routers and in-vehicle concierge services.  

We began to wonder what technology our readers were most excited to have in their next ride. And so, as much of humanity now does in its hour of need, we polled Twitter:

Those results are a little surprising, considering shoppers' hot-and-cold early reactions to CarPlay and Android Auto. In the study cited above, at least 20 percent of respondents said that they had no interest in either of those third-party infotainment systems. Later that year, however, General Motors insisted that CarPlay was so desirable, it could make or break a sale.

It appears that awareness may have tipped the scales. When Power conducted its study, CarPlay and Android Auto weren't widely available, and many shoppers hadn't even heard of the technology. A few months later, the systems had begun to roll out, and consumers had developed a growing appetite for the features.

A year later, 50 percent of our respondents put CarPlay and Android Auto at the top of their wish lists. That's quite a turnaround--it's even up eight points from the last time we conducted this poll two months ago. In fact, we've heard anecdotal reports of consumers being so interested in CarPlay and Android Auto that they won't even set foot on a Toyota lot until the company begins offering the technology (which Toyota has stubbornly said it won't do).

The interest in wireless device charging doesn't surprise us either. Growing demand for smartphone-based infotainment systems makes it abundantly clear that handheld devices are central to our lives these days. Accordingly, keeping those devices powered up is a big concern.

The fact that 12 percent of respondents want autonomous features is probably to be expected, too. While many Americans remain very skeptical of self-driving vehicles, a small percentage are very, very enthusiastic about their arrival. However, 12 percent of respondents is significantly fewer than the 20 percent who expressed interest in autonomous features in September. 

And as for the nine percent who just want a heated steering wheel, well, we can't blame you. Given the contentious election season many of us have just endured, maybe a simple, comforting pleasure is all you need.

This story originally appeared in The Car Connection.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Poll results: What technology do you want most in your next car?
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2016/1120/Poll-results-What-technology-do-you-want-most-in-your-next-car
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe