A study conducted by online car marketplace Autotrader has found that 48% of potential buyers place more value on a vehicle’s technology than its brand or style.
The annual tech study was released last week at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. It showed a growing number of consumers believe certain safety technologies, including blind-spot detection and forward collision warning, should be standard on all vehicles sold in the U.S. Convenience and entertainment options, such as the latest connectivity systems offered by automakers, also rank high on consumers' preferred list of technology features.
The newest study also shows that 56 percent of car shoppers have done their research and know exactly what in-vehicle technology they are interested in before they visit a dealership. Younger car buyers, 18- to 34-year-olds in particular, are generally more tech savvy and are less willing to compromise on the features they want.
“Technology has become the deciding factor for car buyers selecting a vehicle," said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader senior analyst in a statement. "Automakers must deliver innovative features or risk consumers looking elsewhere."
Consumers say they are becoming increasingly comfortable with advanced safety technology. Seventy percent of respondents noted they would consider paying more for driver-assist technology such as blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control in their next vehicle purchase.
However, 65 percent still have concerns over system failures with self-driving cars, roughly the same number as in 2016. In general, nearly two-thirds of respondents believe new technology has improved the way they drive.