Consumers Interested in Safety Features – Car Pro News

Consumer interest is growing in safety features such as backup cameras, blind-spot warning systems and pedestrian alerts, according to a survey released this week by Harris Interactive.
The interest bucks the trend toward fewer people caring about safety vs. traditional vehicle needs — such as gas mileage and quality — as cars become safer by the year.
The tangible and frequent utility of such features could be driving interest. Auto safety advances in the past decade — such as electronic stability systems, antilock brakes, side-curtain air bags now largely required by law today — are mostly hidden during daily driving.
By contrast, a backup camera or blind-spot warning system may be used by a driver several times in a single commute.
Harris says that in its survey such features beat out the appeal of entertainment technologies such as satellite radio and voice-activated infotainment and communication controls. Maybe that’s no surprise, given the recent J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study that showed owner frustration with the operation and reliability of such systems.
More safety features may come in handy: The survey also found that new-car buyers each admitted to 37 distracted-driving habits in the previous four weeks, including 11 phone calls, eight beverages and eight texts or e-mails while behind the wheel. Males copped to more distractions than females, as did 18- to 34-year-olds vs. older drivers.
Other interesting findings regarding in-car technology:
• Consumers would rather dock their phones with an entertainment system, such as with a simple USB connection, than use integrated features such as Toyota’s Entune or Ford’s Sync App Link.
• Those who use app integration prefer Google Maps and Google Search over Pandora, Facebook or Twitter.
• Even though most smartphones offer portable navigation, most consumers still prefer built-in dashboard systems.

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