US: Survey finds 40% drivers want internet access in the car

A new Autobytel report, Wired-in-the-Car, indicates that drivers continue to be conflicted between their desire to be “plugged-in,” with 40% overall wanting the Internet in their vehicles; their concerns about safety, with 87% believing in-vehicle Web access is a safety issue; and their actual behavior, with over 50% still admitting to, at some point, illegally texting/phoning while driving (even though 95% want the Internet banned or restricted in vehicles).

Industry predictions are that 90% of vehicles will have some form of wireless connectivity by 2016; however, 50% of Wired-in-the-Car respondents predict that that reality will come much sooner – by 2013. Not surprisingly, the report indicates that Echo Boomers (35 and under) are both less likely to want a ban on Internet access/use in their cars (64% say no) and far more likely to be in an accident caused by an in-car electronic device (with twice as many accidents as those over 35).

Survey respondents overwhelmingly support laws that restrict texting while driving in every state (90%), but only 3% of respondents have ever been ticketed for using a cell phone or texting while driving.

Sixty-eight percent of Echo Boomers indicate that the ability to surf the Internet in their car was either “very important” or “nice to have.” However, technology that would make in-vehicle use of electronic devices safer is not a high priority for survey respondents, with only 8% of Echo Boomers (and 14% of respondents overall) favoring voice controlled mobile interfaces that minimize distractions, versus 30% that chose GPS navigation as the device/accessory they don’t currently have in the car but would like.

To read more Autobytel Distracted Driving articles click here.

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