Connected Car Services Are Revving Up

Connected Car Services Are Revving Up

Infotainment options in new automobiles are a great avenue for manufacturers to differentiate their vehicles from other offerings. These connected car services give owners the ability to do more while on the move as well as giving them access to important safety features.

In a recent 451 Alliance survey, we asked respondents about their use of connected car services and found more than a quarter (28%) of respondents currently have one enabled in their vehicle. This is up compared to our results from 2019 and shows continued growth in consumer interest for this type of functionality.

Additionally, connected car services are more prevalent among higher end models, thus we see greater usage among respondents with higher household incomes. Respondents in the $100,000-$124,999 and $150,000-$249,999 income brackets had the highest adoption at 48%, which is more than double the lowest income bracket (less than $25,000; 18%).

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Once again, we also find that consumers interested in these services opt for the manufacturer’s installed service (93%) instead of adding one to their vehicle later. As a result, Chevrolet MyLink (12%), Toyota Entune (11%) and GM OnStar (10%) and the services most in use. Furthermore, the most likely way to increase usage is when consumers are purchasing newer car models, as 84% of respondents would not have installed connected car services after purchase.

Free trials remain an effective strategy for converting auto purchasers into paid subscribers. Currently, just over one-third of respondents who currently use connected car services are still on their free trial. Of this group, 42% say they plan to continue their service after the trial period ends, which is virtually the same subscription rate we saw last year.

Looking at the most important connected car capabilities, we see that enhanced safety features are among the biggest draws for automobile purchasers. Navigation (70%), roadside assistance (69%), medical emergency response (66%), automatic crash response (65%) and service/maintenance alerts/scheduling (64%) had the highest number of respondents rating them as very important in the decision to purchase/lease their current vehicle.

At the other end of the spectrum, we see convenience capabilities like concierge services (36%), recall notifications (49%) and ‘find my car’ location reminders (53%) of much lower importance to auto purchasers.

By looking at the capabilities consumers find most important, manufacturers can formulate finer-tuned connected car packages that would better target automobile buyers’ needs and increase the likelihood they will subscribe to these services for the long haul.

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