Generation Z may take some wooing
As we saw earlier, Gen Z doesn’t seem to have the enthusiasm for cars and auto tech that their older counterparts Gen Y and Gen X do. Either Gen Z is too young to be concerned about cars, or this could signal serious problems for the entire automotive industry if it continues. Companies will want to keep an eye on this group by offering them services that connect them more seamlessly. Focus groups have pointed out that anything from in-car Wi-Fi to a decrease of insurance costs are primary drivers for Gen Z to engage in these automotive upgrades.
Companies will need to think twice when it comes to the personalization/privacy divide
Even consumers who are excited about new auto tech developments are wary of giving up privacy. Forays into areas like customized in-car advertising will need to proceed with caution.
Trust is more important than ever
For autonomous vehicles and certain in-car technologies to succeed, consumers need to be willing to give up control and, to a degree, put their safety in the hands of their vehicles. Thus, established brands that already engender consumer trust may have an advantage.
The window is open for tech companies
Consumers consistently say they would be receptive to the idea of leading technology companies offering autonomous vehicles, as well as ride sharing or car sharing services. This gives tech brands like Google, Apple and Microsoft an opportunity to disrupt the automotive category. Our data suggest that right now, traditional automotive brands have the edge over tech brands in the minds of the consumers. And given the upscale nature of the category of early adopters, luxury auto brands may be in a particularly strong position to dominate auto tech.
Language is important
Consumers seem to have visceral responses to terms such as driverless cars. Companies need a compelling way to talk about these emerging technologies, so that consumers understand the concepts behind them, and at the same time, will respond positively to what the companies promise to deliver.
Both in-car technology and ride sharing may offer a foot in the door for autonomous vehicles
In-car technologies that offer “self-driving lite” features (e.g., automatic braking) may be a good way to gradually introduce consumers to the concept of autonomous driving. These technologies appear to have mainstream acceptance and are less associated with the fear factor than are purely “driverless” vehicles. Ride sharing is another way to test autonomous driving with consumers—and to win over early adopters, who are the most likely users of these services. Both Uber and Lyft are introducing semi-autonomous vehicles to their fleets through partnerships with the OEMs. This will help seed the marketplace and give consumers a means of sampling the technology before committing to it.