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Consumers Know Connected Cars Exist. That's About It.

Majority of car owners wouldn't allow personal data collection, ads via connected cars

Knowing about something and understanding it are two very different things, and a May 2014 study by Harris Interactive found that this gap was wide when it came to familiarity with connected cars. While 56% of US car owners had heard of connected cars, just 14% were actually familiar with what they were and could do. The survey looked at US car owners ages 18 and older who had a 2009 model or later and were a decision-maker for a new car purchase.

March 2014 polling by Capgemini found that connected cars had grabbed consumers’ attention, and most respondents to Harris Interactive were interested in owning a connected car. Around 68% of car owners were at least somewhat interested in having such a vehicle in the future. However, the percentages of respondents in that group who were extremely or very interested were low, indicating a need for more awareness and information before interest levels can surge further.

Advertisers look at connected cars as another platform through which they can reach consumers. But even as connected cars drive into more garages, it won’t be all smooth sailing for ads. When asked what personal data collection/advertising they would allow via connected car systems in exchange for incentives, respondents showed little interest in any of the options, and 56% said they wouldn’t allow any ads or data collection. Car owners were most likely to allow data collection about how they used their connected car system that could then be combined with information from thousands of other drivers, but that was cited by a mere 17%.

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