Want Versus Need: Drivers Agonize Wi-Fi, Navigation over Basic Car Safety

By Joel Arellano | October 26, 2011
American drivers want safe roads. Yet they also want access to their latest music, apps, navigation, and even social media pages (i.e. Facebook). This conundrum was recently quantified in a study by consultants Altman Vilandrie & Co. and by uSamp, a sampling and survey firm. According to their study, up to half of those surveyed would have second thoughts about purchasing certain automotive features that would detract from driving like navigation system and wi-fi. However, the study revealed a high demand for such technology by consumers. In other words, we want to have our cake and eat it, too. Jonathan Hurd, director of Altman Vilandrie & Co., says car buyers see voice command as the most effective way in managing such technology. This is especially true with navigation systems. Consumers, especially the younger demographic (18 to 24), are also interested in "voice output" systems which read back email, text messages, and social media like Facebook posts. However, all participants in the survey had reservations on distractions on such technology. Hurd points out that even today's most advanced telematics like Ford's MyFord have not reached the point in recognizing natural language and command. Automotive.com's take: MyFord's infotainment system can currently sync with most of today's smartphones, allowing drivers to access their smartphone apps like Pandora. Future systems like Toyota Entune and Hyundai Bluelink will provide the same amount of service and other features like live operators. Do you think a preponderance of such systems could worsen future driving? Or drivers will adjust as they have with "standard" infotainment systems like the simple radio? As always, let us know in the comments below. Source: Wall Street Journal