There’s no denying that new cars are becoming increasingly packed with tech that connects drivers to the internet, even if it can be distracting. Whether it’s as simple as streaming audio or turning the interior into a wifi hotspot, these connected carsystems appear here to stay. So who actually uses this stuff? The survey-meisters at Nielsen have issued the results of a new study that sheds light on the subject, and some of the results aren’t what you might expect.
The analysis is based on surveys from 5,985 people who consider themselves “extremely, very, or somewhat interested” in things like connected homes, automotive technology and wearable tech.
You might presume young whippersnappers to be the ones most likely to drive vehicles with this cutting-edge telematics technology, but as it turns out, it’s the opposite. Of those with who own a vehicle with connected features, 42 percent of them are 55 or older. They’re also 58 percent men, well educated and 37 percent make over $100,000 a year. The most important parts of the tech to them (full data at right) are crash notifications, Internet-enabled navigation, safety alerts and vehicle diagnostics.
Of course, this might simply be a case of youthful drivers not being able to afford the latest and greatest technology. Of the people considering buying a new car in the next two years, 39 percent of them want it to be a model with such built-in connectivity features. However, their reasons appear somewhat frivolous with 60 percent of them just wanting to experience the systems, 58 percent wanting to entertain passengers and 43 percent believing the systems might boost productivity.
Nielsen’s study suggests that automakers need to make sure their tech is usable by the entire swath of the population, especially for the older drivers who are most likely to actually have the systems in their vehicles.