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Consumers consider it vital to access phone while driving

Almost 50% of consumers consider it vital to have access to a phone in the vehicle and about 40% consider it vital to access apps such as navigation and music while in the vehicle, according to a survey by IDC Manufacturing Insights.

And, while only about one-quarter of all consumers consider it vital to utilize the phone for business when in the vehicle, almost half of the baby boomer population (consumers between the ages of 45 and 65) consider it vital to access the phone in the vehicle for business and applications, signifying that this group has a strong connected identity beyond personal use. This is a significant finding for connected vehicle stakeholders, especially automakers, because baby boomers continue to have the majority of “buying power” today for large investments such as homes and vehicles.

Investments in connected vehicle capabilities and accompanying services — intended to provide the driver with an array of benefits, many of which focus on increased safety — are ongoing by automakers and a host of other ecosystem players. However, IDC Manufacturing Insights asserts that an insufficient amount of consumer research has been performed by these stakeholders to focus these investments, and because of this, a number of development efforts made thus far may suffer from low adoption. The results of IDC Manufacturing Insights’ new study can help automakers, suppliers and other third parties develop a more thorough understanding of consumer wants and concerns with relation to this evolving vehicle technology and what it enables, and as a result, fine tune their development efforts.

The study also reveals that three-quarters of respondents prefer to access in-vehicle services through their existing mobile device, maintaining their “digital identity.” The majority of consumers (two-thirds) would prefer their existing mobile service provider for emergency and other in-vehicle services, if given a choice. Thirty-five percent of consumers believe connected and emergency services should be included free with the vehicle, but 50% of consumers find $24-60 per year a reasonable price range to pay for the services.

“According to our study, most consumers find it vital to access the phone in the vehicle but also want to maintain their “digital identity” by connecting their current device to the vehicle,” says Sheila Brennan, program manager for IDC Manufacturing Insights’ Connected Vehicle Strategies research. “Therefore, automakers that have a strategy to provide consumers the ability to access their current device’s service through the vehicle, but also gain access to any OEM unique embedded services that come with the vehicle, will gain an advantage in the connected vehicle market.”

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