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Drivers looking for new gizmos

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Monday, May 20, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Drivers want technology that helps them improve their car's gas mileage as well as improving smartphone connectivity in their next cars, according to the 2013 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study from J.D. Power and Associates.

The study, which measures car owners' interest and purchase intentions for new car technologies, found that drivers were most interested in technology that easily links their smartphones to their cars, with 79 percent citing an interest before pricing was discussed, dropping to 67 percent when those surveyed learned of the $250 estimated cost for such technology.

J.D. Power and Associates said smartphone owners believe their devices should connect easily to their cars, and that owners often keep their cars for five years or more yet change smartphones more frequently, causing compatibility issues.

Two fuel-related technologies came in at second and third in the study, with 79 percent of drivers most interested in a fuel-economy indicator, which provides instant feedback on how to adjust a person's driving style to improve fuel economy, before they learned of the $50 price tag. That dropped only slightly to 72 percent after they were told the added cost. In addition, 76 percent of those surveyed were interested in active shutter grille vents, which are actual shutters in the grille that close to improve aerodynamics, thereby improving fuel economy. That number dropped to 61 percent when they were told it would cost $150.

The 2013 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study, which was fielded in March 2013, used responses from 16,758 car owners, who were asked questions about 22 emerging technologies, each with related secondary technologies.

Are you willing to pay more for new car technology? How much more? Is there a price point where you wouldn't?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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Ron Peterson
May 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I want a plug hybrid minivan with collision avoidance radar and AWD.
I don't care about the milage some much as long as it has the latest
technology. I also want decent performance. 20 mile electric range
fits my needs.

Barrie Gilbert
May 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm

One item which could very easily added in a modern,
digitally-rich car would be a memory of whatever is
recently heard on a radio channel. It's all-too easy
to miss something that you want to "catch" again. A
sensible ergonomics would allow one to select a wide
range of "past times" - from, just for example "Play
the last ten seconds" to ".. the last twenty minutes".
The needed memory (a FIFO - first-in, first out) is
very small by modern standard, especially if the data
is compressed.


May 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Homer Simpson designed the perfect car. It had two bubbles in back for Bart and Lisa. Funny episode!