When creating a vehicle choice choice for your fleet, you might start by considering the vehicle features that drivers want or need, or what falls within your budgets. However, you decide it always good to consider the latest data from manufacturers and what drivers are actually searching for when deciding on the spec of a particular model.
Toyota have recently looked at the searching habits across their global website and have some surprising insights into what makes a feature shortlist.
It turns out that the features that drivers aren’t interested in are those that add the least value to a car. The low interest arises from the fact that most of these features are new, uncommon, or unknown. As a result, drivers aren’t fully aware of their potential benefits. On the other hand, the features that appeal to drivers are the most helpful. They include driver aids, safety technologies, and infotainment systems. Lets take a look at the vehicles features drivers want and the ones they don’t.
10/10 – Drivers don’t want:
While massage seats were often reserved for luxury cars, they are a major selling point for new modern cars. The idea of massaging seats after spending hours behind the wheel of your cay may sound appealing, But only a small percentage of drivers were willing to up spec to this premium feature.
9/10 – Drivers want:
This feature emerged as the most wanted with 66% of drivers prioritising it over other features in this list. Much like leather seats, heated seats are one of the most sought-after features. Many manufacturers have begun prioritising and making them standard in many cars and vans.
8/10 – Drivers don’t want:
Fully Autonomous, hands free driving
Tesla has been at the forefront in leading other manufacturers and tech companies towards full autonomy. Proponents advocate that it’s a revolutionary technology that would eliminate human error, thus preventing road accidents and deaths.
However, it’s quite surprising how many drivers are actually interested in fully autonomous cars, according to the data. Only 7% regarded fully autonomous, hands-free driving as a worthy feature in a new car. It appears many drivers have trust issues with this new technology without forgetting its well-documented failures in the past.
7/10 – Drivers want:
Active Blind-Spot Monitoring System
Active blind-spot monitoring systems hugely impact a vehicles safety. An active blind-spot monitoring system provides the driver with a visual or audio warning whenever another car is in their blind spot. Many highly regarded this safety feature, and at 60%, it is ranked as the second most in-demand vehicle feature drivers want.
6/10 – Drivers don’t want:
Biometric features are a modern car technology that includes fingerprint scanners, voice recognition, and face recognition. However, the system isn’t 100% perfect, as many car owners struggle to get it to work properly. Again, the technology’s security is a major concern to many buyers.
Gesture controls are also prevalent in new cars, and BMW is one of the few automakers making use of this technology extensively. Just like in smartphones, gesture controls let you control car features like stereo and navigation through hand gestures. But despite making good progress, only 9% of buyers want either biometric features or gesture controls on their new cars.
5/10 – Drivers want:
Front And Rear Parking Sensors
Thanks to advanced technology, more and more vehicles are equipped with powerful sensors and cameras to help drivers to get a better understanding of the car’s position while parking it.
The technology also includes front and rear cameras that send feedback to the driver through a dash-board mounted monitor. Parking sensors are today standard in many vehicles. And due to their convenience, they are highly in demand as 55% of those surveyed found it a must-have feature.
4/10 – Drivers don’t want:
Electronic/engine and exhaust noise enhancement
As the automotive world gears towards full electrification, engines are getting smaller and quieter. So, several car manufacturers use engine sound enhancement technology to give quiet cars a rather raucous engine note.
A fake engine noise and engine sound enhancement adds nothing to the driver’s experience. Therefore, it is no surprise that only 13% selected this as a desirable option.
3/10 – Drivers want:
All Wheel Drive
While 4 wheel drive was mostly offered in a few off-road-destined car models, today, the technology is filtering through to more vehicles. 54% of buyers would prefer an all-wheel drive car.
2/10 – Drivers don’t want:
Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display
Manufacturers consider augmented reality (AR) heads-up displays (HUDs) the future of connected cars. It forms part of an exclusive technology package in many cars with heads-up displays. The system projects information such as navigation and vehicle speed on the windshield.
More advanced systems are now capable of of capturing and highlighting information about your surroundings, such as road signs, pedestrians, and more. But there is always the argument about whether the technology is more of a distraction to the driver rather than being helpful. As it stands, only 14% of those surveyed consider this futuristic technology a must-have on their cars.
1/10 – Drivers want:
Apple Car Play / Android Auto integration
While manufacturers offer Android Auto and Apple Car Play as standard features on many cars today, they are still on the wish list of many car buyers. 53% of those surveyed prefer having Android Auto or Apple car Play in their cars.
And although both systems are almost identical in functionality, Apple Car Play is for iPhone users, while Android Auto is for Android-powered phones. Both features form part of a car’s infotainment system, letting you safely use everything you love about your phone while driving.
This lack of integration is also an issues for Tesla drivers where the infotainment system does not cater for user choice. Many manufacturers are now seeing the vehicle as a money earner where a pay per month model allows for richer content or features.
That opens up a whole new debate and that is for another article. In the meantime it does go to show that most drivers are sensible when adding options to their vehicles.
The decision for fleet buyers is to ensure that ADAS is part of the debate as a minimum starting point and survey data is helpful when creating a car policy.