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Report: Consumers Prefer Auto Safety Technology to Entertainment

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April 24, 2015—Auto makers should invest in safety technology, over entertainment and convenience, to satisfy customers, according to a J.D. Power study released Wednesday.

The 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study found that three of the top five vehicle technologies consumers prefer are related to safety, specifically collision protection. As consumers become increasingly comfortable with autonomous-driving features, auto makers will have to focus on safety technologies to meet their expectations, according to the study.

Blind-spot detection and prevention systems, night vision and enhanced collision mitigation systems were among the five most valued features.

Consumers’ preference for collision protection makes up the “building blocks for autonomous driving,” Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research at J.D. Power, said. “Small instances will begin to culminate [and lead to] to self-driving vehicles.”

The study looked at three levels of autonomous driving: fully autonomous, limited autonomous and traffic-jam assist.

Survey respondents showed the highest preference for fully autonomous vehicles. Limited followed, and traffic-jam assistance was least preferred, Ms. Kolodge said.

The other technologies in the top five were rearview camera and monitors, and self-healing paint.

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