Consumer ability to access the internet and connected services while in the car remains strong, making driving or parking tasks easier. While interest is especially high for services which provide traffic updates, weather updates, open parking spaces, and navigation instructions, interest in social media functionality remains low.
A new report from Automotive Consumer Insights group (ACI) at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), surveyed consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China regarding their interest in and preferred payment models for in-vehicle connectivity and connected services. Consumers remained interested in services which provided drive-relevant information; with access to in-vehicle connectivity playing an increasingly important role in the purchase decision of a vehicle, across all demographics. However, interest in some popular payment models for connectivity has fallen over the past year.
“As we observed last year, a high level of consumer interest does not always translate to a willingness to pay for it,” says report author Derek Viita. “Most consumers remain unwilling to pay for in-vehicle connectivity using the monthly payment models that OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] have tended to favor. Free models for connectivity remain highly desirable across all regions and age groups. Interest in connectivity supported by in-vehicle advertising rose over the past year.”
Interest in paying extra at purchase to make the car a WiFi hotspot remains high, especially among 18-24 year olds. Including the car as a device in a shared mobile data plan remains popular as well, though consumer interest in the mobile-share model has fallen in the US and Europe. Most interestingly, consumer preference for the “lump sum” payment model has fallen since 2014 across all regions.
“This particular finding indicates that among consumers who are open to the idea of paying for connectivity, most are cooling to the idea of paying a large amount up-front for it,” says Viita.