Why Do Car Buyers Think Cell Phones Are More Important Than Safety?


This is why we have so many crashes.

As gearheads, we get to use the excuse that we’re really just children trapped inside adult bodies when we happen to make irrational car purchases, but as it turns out, we aren’t the only ones. Regular car buyers like to spend their money on the fun features instead of the more sensible safety extras. When Autocar surveyed 1,200 UK people about which car options they would most likely opt for, the results showed that safety was ranked towards the bottom of the list of priorities.

With money to blow on optional extras, consumers would not spend it on blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, or speed limit warning technologies. Instead, the survey subjects said that they would opt for connectivity features that enable their smart phones to be linked to the car, proving once again that iPhones and Androids are the equivalent of socially acceptable crack. Since automakers are realizing that infotainment systems lack usability and number of features when compared to smartphone software, new apps like MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto provide a virtual phone inference on a car’s infotainment screen. This allows for easy hands-free texting, use of apps, and more access to entertainment options.

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As automakers get closer to bringing driverless cars onto the roads, drivers simultaneously seem less interested in driving and more attracted to entertaining distractions. Strangely enough, the same doesn’t apply to features that enable wireless charging in cars or the option to watch TV on the road (for passengers, not drivers). This makes BMW’s push for a connected car appear more intelligent as it’s the ability to remain connected to the outside world while inside an isolated vehicle that consumers are seeking. In either case, the role of the automobile is already shifting as technology begins to take over the driving process and infiltrates other aspects of our lives. The survey’s findings only highlight consumer’s priorities in this shift.

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