My latest project is to re-analyse the data from the highly influential INRIX Connected Car & Autonomous Vehicle Consumer Survey by car manufacturer. I’m interested in understanding whether there is any difference in the most desirable features and services between drivers of different car makes.
The study surveyed over 5,000 drivers of nearly new vehicles (under three years old) in five major markets (US, UK, Germany, Italy and France). For the first time, INRIX Research has isolated the responses of Mercedes-Benz drivers in order to understand their specific views on Connected Cars.
The demographics of Mercedes-Benz drivers were similar to the whole group with 53% of Mercedes-Benz drivers in the study being male and 55% aged 41 years or older. Over a third (36%) of Mercedes-Benz drivers were in Germany followed by Italy (28%) and the UK (13%). Not surprisingly, German car manufacturers are incredibly popular with German drivers.
Drivers of Mercedes-Benz connected cars rated them fairly well at 8.3 out of 10 (on average) although this was slightly lower than their closest German rivals BMW (8.6) and Audi (8.5).
In-car technology is incredibly important in the buying decision of Mercedes-Benz drivers with 74% saying it was more important than the vehicle’s performance and 68% saying it was more important than the car’s brand.
With the exception of ADAS services, navigation related connected car services have the highest percentage (80%) of Mercedes-Benz drivers are willing to pay for them. It is a universal fact that safety related options and features are most often specified and paid for by purchasers. In comparison, drivers are least likely to pay for infotainment and entertainment services.
The Top 10 most desirable connected car features for Mercedes-Benz drivers are ranked as follows:
|Rank||Connected Car Service||% of Respondents|
|1||Real time traffic||96%|
|2||Road condition alerts||94%|
|3||Road incident alerts & re-routing||94%|
|4||Rear/front collision alert||92%|
|5||Blind spot warning||91%|
|6||Vehicle condition and servicing reminders||91%|
|8||Car parking space detection||89%|
|9||Lane departure system||86%|
This deep dive shows a clear theme: technologies and services that solve everyday driver pains and enhance driver safety are incredibly important to Mercedes-Benz drivers.
The original must-read study by INRIX Research revealed broader insights into the connected car revolution and provided good news for carmakers, especially in Germany. Overall the study found that traditional automakers are winning in the connected car and autonomous vehicle race. Key insights regarding the future of the automotive industry included:
- Consumers are concerned about data privacy, with a third of respondents stating that they don’t trust anybody with their connected car data.
- Traditional carmakers are more trusted than tech companies by consumers, both with protecting their in-car data and with building autonomous vehicles
- Most consumers believe autonomous vehicles will be on public roads within a decade, and almost three quarters of people think that they will be as safe, or safer, than today’s cars. However, only a quarter of respondents would purchase one.
- Automakers have a unique opportunity to elevate drivers’ understanding of connected cars and related services as more than half of respondents didn’t know what a connected car is.
Download the original INRIX Connected Car & Autonomous Vehicle Consumer Survey to get the full insights.