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Harris Interactive survey for Johnson Controls identifies consumer preferences for connected vehicles

According to a recent online survey conducted for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive, US vehicle owners want to use their phones and existing apps to safely connect in their vehicles. Consumers want this process to be simple to use and for it to be convenient to download apps from traditional channels.

Johnson Controls says it will utilize the data to influence design and new product development of its future infotainment products. Some of the key findings from the study of more than 2,100 US adults include:

  • 84% of vehicle owners would like to control the features in their vehicle via a touch-screen infotainment system;

  • 83% want to get updates to vehicle infotainment systems delivered wirelessly;

  • 76% would like to connect to the Internet using their vehicle as a Wi-Fi hotspot;

  • 67% would like to download applications directly to their vehicle; and

  • 61% would like to pay for something using a debit or credit card linked to the infotainment system in their vehicle.

Safety is the single most important feature among a list of nine—also including: vehicle diagnostics; navigation; entertainment; communication/ connectivity; information apps; audio apps; concierge/ personal service; and social apps—in the selection of a vehicle (75%). The delivery of vehicle infotainment safely will be critical to consumer adoption and consumption. The second tier of important features includes vehicle diagnostics (49%) and navigation (42%).

Smartphone apps most associated with a vehicle include: Maps/navigation = 52%; News = 45%; and, finding locations = 34%.

When it comes to downloading smartphone apps to a vehicle via an interactive screen, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps on a weekly basis would prefer traditional channels.

62% have a preference for where they would download an app for their vehicle, and of those with a preference, 60% would prefer downloading from an existing app store (e.g., App Store for iOS, Amazon Appstore for Android); 38% would prefer a new app store for vehicle-specific applications; and 37% would prefer the app maker’s website (e.g., Pandora, Google Maps).

When it comes to accessing a vehicle app, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps regularly want apps they know and are comfortable with. Two-thirds (64%) want the menu options in their vehicle to be the same as on their smartphone (i.e., a full list of menu options available).

The online survey was conducted December 27-31, 2012 in the United States for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive among 2,135 adults age 18 and older, of whom: 1,183 own a smartphone; 1,070 use downloaded apps on a weekly basis; and, 1,062 own a smartphone and own/lease a vehicle (i.e., car (small/mid-size/large/luxury), SUV/CUV, pickup, minivan, or hybrid) that they drive on a regular basis. The participants represented a cross-section of car owners, spanning a variety of ages, incomes, lifestyles, and vehicle segments.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Johnson Controls announced that it will expand its electronics product portfolio into full in-vehicle infotainment systems for automakers. Its first, full infotainment system will launch in a 2014 model year vehicle program in North America, Europe and Asia.


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