Proof Search Mirrors Consumer Demand

Automotive features such as cameras, alerts and sensors, and driver assistants that trend in search results are easy to spot in Google and Bing and can give manufacturers insight into the services consumers want most.

Internet searches related to car features, from Bluetooth speakers to advanced driver-assistance systems, give marketers insight into their preferences. Several features have seen a huge increase in monthly search volume during the past few years.

Monthly U.S. search volume for roadside assistants reached 49,000 in June 2017 -- up five times -- and backup cameras reached 27,100 -- up four times since 2012, according to a CARFAX study.

The average searches per month for autonomous cars jumped from almost none to 5,400 -- up tenfold in the past five years, Davis used SEMRush data, which is based on Google searches for desktop in the U.S., to determine the uptick.

The search data matches a recent study done by Stone Temple Consulting for CARFAX. Car shoppers are 80% more likely to consider paying for driver assist features and 70% more likely for override features.



Four out of five car tech users have a positive outlook or opinion on car tech, but 32% are interested in fully autonomous vehicles, while 49% have no interest at all.

Some 57% will consider backup cameras as a must-have, about 1.31 times the number considered it a must have when purchasing their current vehicle. Half of those surveyed will consider hands-free connectivity as a must-have -- about 1.21 times.

For the CARFAX study, Stone Temple surveyed more than 1,000 drivers who have in-car safety technology features and compared them with 137 who do not. They did this to examine just how these features influence drivers, as well as the cars they buy. Features include cameras, alerts and sensors, driver assists, driver overrides, hand-free and connectivity technologies, and security and emerging features like roadside assistance and stolen vehicle tracking.

Although this particular study only focused on automotive features, Internet searches also can identify trends for other types of products from clothing and fashion to food. 

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