Consumers Are Partial to Automated Features in their Vehicles

According to a newly released survey from J.D. Power APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout), consumers like their cars with driver-assist technologies.

The study revealed that new vehicles with features like blind-spot monitoring and low-speed collision avoidance have overall higher APEAL scores than vehicles that don’t.

The features are appropriately dubbed “gateway technologies,” since they open the way to autonomous, self-driving cars. As consumers continue to gravitate toward these features, manufacturers will continue to produce more, and make them even more comprehensive.

Indeed, as Renee Stephens, the vice president of U.S. automotive quality for J.D. Power, says, “Technology-enabled safety features help drivers feel more comfortable and confident while driving their vehicles.”

But the path towards complete automation won’t be without its challenges, as the recent fatal crash of a self-driving car in Florida proved. The Tesla Model S, which has an autopilot system, was functioning at the time of the accident, and may not have recognized the threat of a truck when it pulled up in front of the vehicle.

Some automakers highly doubt that full automation will ever be possible since there are too many factors for a machine to handle when driving, citing the Tesla incident to reinforce this pint.

However, automated technologies are obviously popular and can have wider implication. For example, the neglect of vehicles costs the economy over $2 billion a year, so perhaps automation technology will focus on the automated maintenance of vehicles instead. That would certainly be a headache that many consumers would be glad to be rid of.

The top five brands rated in the APEAL study were all high-end vehicles, all of which offered driver assist technologies. The brands were Porche, BMW, Lexus, Jaguar, and Mercedes- Benz.

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