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Here's a Look at Just How Important Car Technology Is Becoming

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2017

A new study reveals just how important car technology is becoming to consumers -- and the results might surprise you. The recent study, dubbed the Tech Study, is carried out annually by Autotrader with over 1,000 participants, providing insight into consumers and automotive technology -- and it shows just how tech-focused many buyers are becoming.

Tech Over Brand

Although the Tech Study looked at many aspects of technology and car buying, perhaps its most interesting finding is that technology is now more important than brand for many car shoppers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of millennial car shoppers -- and more than 40 percent of baby boomers -- said they'd switch brands just to get the technology features they want. Those are impressive figures -- and they show just how easy it is for automakers to lose sales if they don't offer the technology buyers are looking for.

Worth the Cost

The Tech Study also revealed that shoppers are very willing to pay extra to get the tech features they want. According to the study, the average shopper would pay $2,276 extra for the right tech features, while the average millennial would pay even more. And more than 30 percent of drivers said they'd give up on a car with the tech features they want if those features were difficult to use. Instead, those shoppers said they'd consider a different vehicle altogether.

Accepting Autonomy

Finally, the Tech Study examined consumer attitudes toward autonomous vehicles -- and found increasing acceptance. This year's study found that 35 percent of drivers are comfortable driving or riding in an autonomous vehicle, up from 30 percent last year. And an impressive 70 percent of shoppers said they're likely to consider a new vehicle with autonomous driving features.

The Results

So what does all this mean? Although a lot of conclusions can be drawn from Autotrader's Tech Study, the biggest is undoubtedly that in-car technology is tremendously important to consumers -- and it's only becoming more important with each passing year. Not only is consumer acceptance of autonomous cars improving, but many car shoppers would be happy to pay more for the right technology -- and many shoppers would switch car brands just to get it.

In other words, automakers must take notice: Technology is a big deal to car buyers. And with these results in mind, it's likely that cars will only continue to become more advanced -- and more autonomous -- as the years go by.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Here's a Look at Just How Important Car Technology Is Becoming - Autotrader