Toronto, 14.01.2016

Canadian drivers embrace safety feature concepts on futuristic connected cars




·         42% of Canadians say the ‘Ultra Safe’ concept is the most appealing aspect of connected cars

·         "Leading edge consumers," the most influential adopters of connected car technology, are Canadian males 18 to 45 years old

·         While one in four find "autonomous driving" appealing, the number significantly declines if the feature cannot be used after drinking alcohol

Connected cars may be the hottest development in the automotive industry, but how do Canadian drivers really feel about these new high-tech features?

In a recent survey, GfK asked 1,000 drivers to rate the appeal of different types of connected car concepts and found 42% of Canadians prefer the "Ultra Safe" car, which makes driving as safe as possible. Highly rated features include emergency braking and emergency calling, which allows a car to directly call emergency services in the event of an accident; both concepts have the support of 62% of respondents.

The "Data Tracker" (a car that checks repair costs and automatically records accident data) and "Autonomous Driving" ,(a car that drives completely on its own) are tied for second place, with 26% expressing interest in these concepts. The appeal of Autonomous Driving cars declines significantly, however, if drivers cannot use the car after drinking alcohol.

GfK also identified a segment it identifies as Leading Edge Consumers (LECs) – early adopters who are most likely to influence the mainstreaming of connected cars. Among Canadian LECs, 69% are males between the ages of 18 and 45 who say they are the primary decision makers in their households.

“The leading edge consumers are doubly valuable to the automotive industry,” said Frank Härtl, Global Lead for Automotive at GfK.  “They are a clear ‘hot opportunity’ for sales of connected cars – and they also give early indicators of where the rest of the market might follow, as the idea of connected cars becomes more embedded and popular.”

For Canadian LECs, the top three preferred concepts are "Ultra Safe," "Data Tracker" and "Life Manager," which is a car that communicates with other connected devices.

Entertainment and connectivity appeal
Entertainment and connectivity options scored highly with Canadian Leading Edge Consumers. The top three entertainment features for them are in-car voice recognition allowing hands free control (79%), car CCTV (75%), and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot that connects personal devices (70%).

This level of appeal is particularly interesting when compared to general consumers, who rated the same three features at the top, but only the in-car voice recognition feature hit 50%.  

About the survey
GfK interviewed 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over, who hold a driving license. Fieldwork was conducted in October 2015.

For information on purchasing this study, contact Stephen Popiel of GfK Canada

About GfK
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter.


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