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In Cars, Technology Lags Consumer Expectations

Posted in Posts, and Syllabus Schedule

A new survey undertaken by software giant Cisco suggests that technological improvements and innovations in vehicles are lagging behind consumers’ expectations. The survey not only found that drivers comfortable with self-driving technology, but also that they are largely supportive of mall kiosk-based auto retail (a business model being advanced by Tesla, as seen in the image to the left), fingerprint-based security systems, and data-sharing about driving habits.

Particularly concerning to car dealerships is that the same survey found that consumers are distrustful of auto manufacturers and dealers, and when it comes to information about vehicles they turn largely to third-party services like the Kelley Blue Book. Combine this with support for online and mall-based retailing, and dealers may have a serious problem on their hands. This harkens back to this article I wrote earlier about Tesla’s fight with dealers on state regulation, in that the information age has brought serious challenges to car dealerships’ business models.

Source: Automotive News


  1. oliver

    There are large shifts in consumer expectations underway. Younger Americans are simply less passionate about cars and traditional automotive performance than their parents. They’d rather be behind a phone, than behind the wheel. With self driving cars on the horizon vehicles will be structured upon entertainment and performing non-driving related tasks. I invision greater cellphone and internet functionality among the new design considerations.

    May 15, 2013
  2. I think that if you could go back in time you’d find similar (or even greater) levels of distrust of dealerships. I am skeptical however that consumers really would buy cars without being able to “kick the tires” — see what the seats feel like and how they drive, and then wait for delivery.

    The survey of attitudes towards autonomous vehicles, inter-vehicle data sharing and vehicle security are interesting. I’ve not seen such surveys before.

    May 16, 2013
  3. tyler

    I personally believe that while a lot of people may make these claims, few would write the check to back up their statements. This technology is expensive. Automakers are in the business of selling cars, not producing cars people think are the coolest. In addition, the cost associated with cars having advanced technology is not only short term, but long term. Expensive electronics go bad, and when to go bad they are even more expensive to fix. I think back to the first electronic dashboard of the 80’s, when they went out, people were stunned by the cost to repair and replace them and many people were scared away from the idea.

    May 17, 2013

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