Not every feature carmakers add to their product range is necessarily desired by consumers. New models introduced have ever-increasing numbers of safety, convenience and performance features, but what do consumers really want?
Cars used to be simple workhorses, existing to ferry you from Point A to Point B. With advancing technology and increasing consumer affluence, automobiles these days come with a dazzling array of features that is touted to make a world of a difference to you, the driver. Indeed, some features are definitely helpful and make driving more convenient and pleasurable, while others improve safety by warning you of all sorts of obstacles around you.
The annual Future Attribute Demand Study (FADS) report compiled by respected auto market research firm AutoPacific lists the top 100 features consumers want, and some that they would rather not have or have given little thought to. Here are the top 10 features customers want in their car and their scoring percentage:
1) Heated seats: 66%
2) Blind-spot monitoring: 60%
3) Front- and rear-parking sensors: 55%
4) All-wheel or four-wheel drive: 54%
5) Lane-departure warning: 54%
6) Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto: 53%
7) Power front passenger seat: 52%
8) LED accent lights: 52%
9) Ventilated or cooled seats: 50%
10) Memory driver’s seat: 49%
Smartphone apps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are high on the list. This phenomenon is a sign of how much the market has evolved, how tech-savvy motorists have become, and how reliant drivers are on their phones. This feature has become standard across most car makes, though there are some brands that prefer one app over the other.
Carmakers have mostly got it right in the advanced driver assist safety (ADAS) systems. The survey found that most consumers want their next cars to have blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems. And they find driver aids like parking sensors really helpful and easy to use, especially for those living in hectic urban environments. LED accent lighting is another popular demand by vehicle shoppers; it not only acts as a design enhancement but help with visibility, too.
At the other end of the spectrum is the list of features that signal to carmakers what they need not pour too much resource into when designing future models.
1) Augmented reality head-up display: 14%
2) Electronic engine noise enhancement: 13%
3) Ability to purchase things from the vehicle infotainment system: 12%
4) Biometric features: 9%
5) Gesture controls: 9%
6) Concierge services: 7%
7) Fully-autonomous, hands-free driving with no steering wheel: 7%
The list throws up some surprises. They show that consumers are not too interested in advanced and perhaps unfamiliar features and capabilities in their cars. Only 14% are fine with having an augmented reality head-up display, and a dismal 7% are comfortable with a fully autonomous car. Chances are that, if the consumer isn’t quite sure or concerned about what these features do and why they would be important, they wouldn’t be actively seeking them out.
So remember to always do proper research of the car and its key features before you make your car purchase. Taking this step will start you in the right direction to get your dream car.