With technology expected to have a revolutionary impact on the automotive industry, car manufacturers have been focusing their attention on developing the vehicles of the future in recent years, with driverless technology, electric vehicles and smart features at the forefront of research and development.

New data from German research institute GfK shows that the automotive industry has been smart to focus its attention on technological innovation, with research showing that 55% of new car purchases will be influenced by the in-vehicle technology that comes included in the car.

In particular, consumers want compatibility with personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, with 60% stating that the feature would influence their decision.

Those figures are based on GfK’s syndicated Automobility research, which is made up of more than 500,000 interviews conducted over the past year. The latest findings were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019, which is currently taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Concepts such as autonomous driving and augmented reality (AR) often dominate announcements from the automotive industry during trade shows like CES. Nissan unveiled its AR connected car experience, for example, while Hyundai is showcasing an autonomous walking car. However, GfK found that consumers were more interested in technology that improved the safety of their vehicle.

Digital connectivity – internet-connected features within the vehicle – ranked second, followed by ‘infotainment’ (entertainment features that are both entertaining and informative). These were followed by electric vehicles, autonomous driving, augmented reality and health & wellness features.

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Do consumers want autonomous driving?

Driverless vehicles are often hailed as the future of the automotive industry. Car manufacturers and tech giants certainly seem to agree, with many attempting to develop the first road-legal autonomous vehicle.

According to CBI Insights, there are currently 46 large corporations currently working on autonomous vehicle technology. Earlier this week it was announced that GPS manufacturer TomTom is to become the latest to join the race, having partnered with Delphi Technologies to develop driverless cars. It joins the likes of Google and Waymo, Huawei and Audi, and Toyota and Uber in the race.

However, GfK’s research shows that consumers aren’t as keen on the technology as manufacturers. Data showed that 90% of US consumers said that they would trust their own driving skills more than technology. Likewise, just 30% said they would be comfortable purchasing a completely autonomous car, while 40% would purchase a semi-autonomous car.

Cars at CES 2019

The Consumer Electronics Show is a leading technology trade show that takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, each year, showcasing ground-breaking innovation and emerging technologies in a range of markets.

Among the 4,500 exhibiting companies, more than 200 will be showcasing products and technology for the automotive industry. Among them will be industry leaders such as Hyundai and Mitsubishi. The full list of exhibitors can be found here.