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Drivers still in the dark over benefits of connected cars

That’s according to new research from TNS and the BearingPoint Institute, which shows that carmakers need to invest to ensure customers are aware of and are benefiting from connected features.

The survey of 3,700 connected car owners in Europe found that there is clear excitement about connected cars, in particular navigation, driver assistance and in-car entertainment, with almost six in 10 respondents (59%) saying that connected features influenced their choice of vehicle and 32% saying it was an important criteria at purchase.

In response, TNS said that carmakers need to act fast if they are to avoid being overtaken by the big tech players, such as Apple and Google.

Remy Pothet, global automotive sector head at TNS, added: “Smartphones are already integrating entertainment and navigation functionality with existing on-board systems, such as Apple’s Car Play and the Google powered Open Automotive Alliance. Smartphone apps can help drivers find their cars if they’ve forgotten where they parked, unlock them remotely and even prepare the interior temperature long before the driver arrives.

“OEMs therefore need to find ways to either partner with tech companies or invest in them as Audi, BMW and Mercedes have recently done with their $3 billion purchase of the Nokia/Microsoft HERE map and navigation platform to make their features even better than the software specialists’ products.”

The study also highlighted that explaining and showing the technical capabilities of the car early in the sales process is critical to the uptake and use of connectivity.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.