It’s early days for connected cars with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), so people aren’t really shopping for these things yet. Very few people are banging on dealership doors demanding emergency assisted braking or usage-based insurance. But a lot of cars, especially fancier trim levels, have them anyway. And once you try ’em, turns out you like ’em.

This information comes from a LexisNexis Risk Solutions Study. Only 15% of shoppers are looking for ADAS technology, which includes things like pedestrian detection and emergency brake assistance. A few more people, 19%, wanted connected car tech. So more than 80% of people in the study did not care—or know enough to care—about high-tech automotive features. Fair enough. Again, it is early days for this stuff.

How Did ADAS Get into My Car?

But lots of cars do come with this technology, especially if you add packages or upgrade to a nicer trim. Some vehicles, like Toyotas, have some standard ADAS features in every vehicle. Many times, if you add something like navigation, it comes as part of a technology package. Along with nav, you’ll get ADAS and connected car capabilities too. If you upgrade to a more expensive trim so that you can have heated leather seats, advanced technology usually comes along for the ride.

Once people have this technology in their cars, however, they love it. The LexisNexis study found that 76% of people who owned cars with ADAS tech liked it after using it. Likewise, 65% of connected car owners like it better once they’d used it.

Control Switch

Not that it’s one big techno-love fest. About a third of respondents who had ADAS features wanted to have some control over when these technologies were on or off. I’m not sure when you’d want to turn off pedestrian detection or emergency braking. But yeah, blind spot monitoring can be distracting depending on how the manufacturer signals that there’s a car back there. Sometimes, the blinking light on your left is too much.

Half of the people wanted to be able to turn off connected car features, which is more understandable. People were most concerned that it added to the number of distractions in the car, and they are not wrong.

Privacy, Please

They were also worried about privacy—as they probably should be. Nearly everyone in the survey was wary of sharing driving information through ADAS and connected features. Seven in ten smart survey takers said that if these features enabled usage-based insurance, they would be concerned about personal privacy.

Data privacy has to be addressed by manufacturers, insurance companies, and  regulatory agencies if people are going to adopt the technologies that will make our roads safer. Because once we use ADAS and connected services, we like them. We really do. But we don’t like not knowing how the data generated by our vehicles will be used.—KHG


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