Study shows generation gaps for self-driving connected car tech, love of cameras & self-healing paint

Camera mirrorResearch shows that younger drivers are more trusting of connected car technology than older drivers. The desire for advanced technology is connected to the cost for some tech features.

When shown the fair market value for the technologies, two of the four safety-related technologies on the top 10 list—night vision ($2,000) and lane change assist ($1,500)—fall out of the top 10, while camera rear-view mirror ($300) and camera side-view mirrors ($400) remain.

The most desired features after the price is shown are economy navigation system ($60); simple wireless device connection ($60); camera rear-view mirror ($300); smart parking ($100); and predictive traffic ($150). Among the top 10 most desired technologies, self-healing paint has the highest price point at $500.

Night vision has the third-highest pre-price interest, with 70% of vehicle owners saying they “definitely would” or “probably would” want the technology in their next vehicle, yet drops to 23rd overall after owners are shown its $2,000 price tag. However, interest in night vision jumps to 36% from 16% when the price for this technology is reduced to $1,400.

Technologies with the lowest consumer interest (pre-price) are trailer connect assist (25%), trailer towing visibility (29%) and full self-driving (34%). Many of these lower interest technologies have specific uses that are relevant to a sub-segment of the buying population. For instance, trailer connect assist interest increases to more than 60% among large SUV and large premium SUV owners. Similarly, only 35% of owners overall want new driver monitoring, yet 58% of owners with children are interested in the technology.

The new study by J.D. Power did find that customers are most interested in radar, sensors, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and cameras, technology than can power self-driving vehicles.

Drivers are also highly interested smart headlights, night vision, lane change assist, traffic jam assist, medical emergency stop, smart intersection and predictive vehicle control.

However, when it comes to making the leap to fully automated cars, trust in the technology is directly linked to the age of the consumer.

More than half of Gen Y (56%) and Gen Z (55%) vehicle owners say they trust self-driving technology with only 41% of Gen X, 23% of Baby Boomers and 18% of Pre-Boomers.
Only 27% of Gen X, 18% of Gen Y and 11% of Gen Z consumers say they “definitely would not” trust the technology, while 39% of Baby Boomers and 40% of Pre-Boomers say the same.

The one view all generations share is a concern for technology security, specifically surrounding privacy and the potential for systems to be hacked, hijacked or to crash (either the vehicle or the system itself).

Gen Y and Gen Z vehicle owners are twice as likely as Gen X and five times as likely as Boomers and Pre-Boomers to show interest in certain alternative mobility types, such as mobility sharing/co-ownership, journey-based ownership and mobility on demand.

The study finds that 59% of Gen Y vehicle owners say they are “definitely” or “probably” interested in fully automated vehicles and 32% of them would pay $3,000 or more for the technology. Among the four alternative mobility types, interest levels are highest among all generations for unmanned mobility.

The U.S. Tech Choice Study, now in its second year, examines consumer awareness, interest and price elasticity of various future and emerging technologies by vehicle make and consumer demographic. T.The 2016 U.S. Tech Choice Study was fielded in February through March 2016 and is based on an online survey of more than 7,900 consumers who purchased/leased a new vehicle in the past five years.