Car Buyers Appreciate Safety Tech – But Aren’t Necessarily Looking for It

vehicle safety techA recent article from insurance publication Claims Journal reveals that although car buyers greatly appreciate their vehicle’s safety and connectivity features, those features rarely play a role in their purchasing decisions.

Based on the findings of a telematics study recently conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Claims Journal reports that only a mere 15 percent of car buyers are interested in advanced driver-assisted systems (ADAS) when making an automotive purchase.

ADAS features include anti-lock brakes, blind spot monitoring and tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), among others. The numbers on buyers seeking “connected car” features (in-vehicle WiFi, OnStar™, etc.) are only slightly more promising, at 19 percent.

However, the study finds that once buyers become aware of these features and begin to engage with them in their own vehicles, favorability skyrockets to 65 percent for connected car, and to 76 percent for ADAS-equipped vehicles.

The article gleans three key insights from these findings that it believes can be beneficial to both automakers and insurance providers when developing new products and services, especially as the insurance industry moves to ramp up consumer adoption of usage-based insurance (UBI.)

Safety

When asked, an overwhelming 80 percent of ADAS-equipped vehicle customers and 69 percent of connected car customers cited features pertaining to safety as being of paramount importance to them.

Customization & Control of Features

The study shows that while consumers apparently value ADAS and connected car features, they also crave some measure of control over those features. Half of all connected car owners and 36 percent of ADAS-equipped owners studied expressed that they would like the option to disable some or all of the ADAS/connected car features in their vehicle, in order to regain more control of the vehicle itself. The article lists adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, GPS/traffic warnings and smartphone connectivity, specifically. In addition, there were concerns over some features of connected car distracting drivers more than helping them.

Privacy

As it concerns their personal driving data, approximately 70 percent of buyers expressed concerns over privacy, and cited it as a reason they are skittish about ADAS, particularly as it relates to usage-based insurance.

The article posits that it behooves automakers and insurers to take these concerns into consideration while developing new products and services.

“This unfolding consumer dynamic presents a unique opportunity for automakers to work with insurers to design services around the cars of the future,” said Pavan Mathew, director of OEM at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Sharing telematics data helps to strengthen the partnership between automakers and insurers and enables the delivery of valuable, customer-friendly features that help their shared customers be safer drivers, while also opening the door for new business opportunities.”

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