Drivers' most-wanted technologies for their cars

Safety vs. connectivity
Safety vs. connectivity

If you could have any of the latest technologies in your car or truck, what would you choose?

Would it be autonomous capabilities that enable your vehicle to do all the driving? Or maybe something that delivers a higher level of connectivity for sending and receiving texts and e-mails?

Despite all the attention placed on these technologies, a new study by J.D. Power found that vehicle owners are more interested in innovations that will keep them safe, with two of the most-desired ones being blind spot detection and collision prevention systems.

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"Consumers are placing a higher level of trust in crash avoidance technology," said Kristin Kolodge, an executive director at J.D. Power. "They are becoming used to hearing a chime and looking in the passenger mirror and realizing they shouldn't try to change lanes. They keep people from making bad decisions when they are driving."

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 14,950 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2014.

Most- and least-preferred technologies

Most-preferred technologies % who chose this Least-preferred technologies % who chose this
Blind spot detection/prevention40%Health/wellness system9%
Night vision33%Hand gesture controlled cockpit9%
Collision mitigation system30%Hand gesture controlled seat8%
Camera rearview mirror30%Biometric driver sensors8%
Self-healing paint25%Touch screen panels8%

Source: J.D. Power

Although in-car connectivity didn't top the list, that's not to say drivers aren't interested in the technology.

The study, which surveyed 5,300 consumers, found that 17 percent of respondents selected that option. And when it came to choosing which operating system they'd want in their vehicle, Kolodge said consumers were loyal to their mobile phones.

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"It is surprising to us when we see the level of loyalty consumers have to their phone. If the phone has Apple or Google's Android operating system, that's what they want in their vehicles," she said. "In many ways, their phone's operating system appears to be more important to consumers than the model of the vehicle they are thinking about buying."

That finding could eventually push automakers to offer both systems in their models.

As for self-driving cars, 19 percent of respondents chose that technology.

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