Connected Car Awareness: Roadside Assistance 67%, Streaming Music, 67%, Remote Start 64%

Consumers may or may not want a connected car, but at least many of them seem to know some of what it means.

And to many of them, the connected feature most known about is roadside assistance, based on a new survey.

The second annual survey was of 7,500 customers likely to buy a car in the next three years in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China. The study was jointly conducted by Ericsson and AT&T, both of which have major vested interests in the connected car game.

For the study, the term ‘connected car’ was defined as a car equipped with a wireless internet connection.

Despite the wireless connection aspect, the feature most people are aware of continues to be an old one and hardly among the latest IoT innovations. And despite all the connected car hoopla over the last year or so, knowledge of some connected car features is actually decreasing, based on a comparison to last year’s study.

In the 2014 study, this was the state of customer awareness of select features:

  • 74% -- Roadside assistance
  • 72% -- Navigation and real-time traffic
  • 71% -- Remote start
  • 70% -- Streaming music
  • 52% -- Usage-based insurance tracking
  • 50% -- Wi-Fi hotspot

This year, roadside assistance is still at the top of the list, although fewer people are aware of it, according to the information provided by AT&T and Ericsson.

  • 67% -- Roadside assistance
  • 67% -- Streaming music
  • 64% -- Remote start
  • 64% -- Wi-Fi hotspot
  • 61% -- Navigation with real-time traffic

Roadside assistance has been available through services such as OnStar in cars for many years, well before the current focus on the Internet of Things.

The questions from last year to this year may or may not have been different, AT&T did not say, but these are the raw numbers they provided for each category in each year. Also, last year’s study included Japan and this year’s included Mexico.

Not sure if the market is going backward from a connected car knowledge standpoint, but fewer people than last year are aware of remote start, streaming music or navigation and real-time traffic. And usage-based insurance tracking didn’t even make this year’s list, based on the information AT&T disclosed.

More people this year than last said they were aware of Wi-Fi hotspot, which may be influenced by more people now having smartphones.

Many of those consumers may also have figured out that they only need their smartphone to create a Wi-Fi hotspot and not a connected car.


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