Cisco Consumer Experience Report for Automotive Surprises Many: Consumers Desire More Automated Automobiles, According to the Cisco Study

I was fortunate enough to lead the Cisco team that looked at consumer experiences in the automotive industry, and the results were eye-opening. For those of you that didn’t know, the study surveyed more than 1,500 consumers across 10 countries. The global report examined consumer preferences of technology used when buying and driving an automobile. Consumers also identified preference for car dealers/manufacturers to provide a more personal driving experience, and their trust in future automotive innovation.

CCER SummarySome pretty interesting results emerged. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, consumers prefer to begin their process online. That’s not too surprising to most of us, since you’re reading this blog online right now, so you yourself are fairly comfortable with online research, I assume! But many had issues trusting the information on the manufacturers’ web sites.

  • Most consumers begin their car purchasing process online: 83% of global consumers prefer to research online for information on a car, versus only 17% of consumers that prefer to call or go to dealership.

We were also educated on what mattered most to consumers. Consumers desire a more automated way to track car gas and maintenance costs:

  • Impact of gas prices on customer experience: 52% of consumers want to track gas prices from a vehicle.  Gas-price tracking was the highest priority, compared to 46% of consumers wanting to track insurance prices, 35% wanting to track roadside assistance availability, and 32% wanted to track recall information.

That was a little different to how folks wearing a manufacturing hat actually thought. Most manufacturing executives (57%) thought that auto manufacturer information is most important for consumers to track!

Consumers are also more willing to trade personal information for customization, security and savings:

  • More Personal Security and Customized Cars: 60% would provide biometric information such as fingerprints and DNA samples in return for personalized security or car security. 65% would share personal information such as height/weight, driving habits, entertainment preferences if this allowed a more customized vehicle and driving experience.

“The survey shows consumers’ comfort with technology and need for immediate information whether they are researching, buying, driving or servicing their vehicle. While consumers in diverse parts of the world may expect very different experiences, their technology demand is more positive than many manufacturers imagine. Many consumers are just waiting for manufacturers to respond with better car buying, driving and service experiences augmented by technology.”

Peter Granger, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Cisco Products Solutions Industry Marketing

CCER DriverlessThen there was the real eye opener: consumers really do place trust in automated or driver-less automobiles, especially in some of the emerging ‘BRIC’ countries including Brazil, India and China.

  • Driverless automobiles: More than half of global consumers (57%) stated they would be likely to ride in a car controlled entirely by technology that does not require a human driver. The most trusting consumers in this regard were in Brazil with 96%, India with 86%, and China with 70%.
  • Kids on board: When asked about children, 46% would still would trust their kids to ride in driver-less automobiles. Again, it was the emerging countries that, by-and-large, were more trusting than the more established economies.

One explanation to regional and national differences could be the different modes of transport in different countries. Many developing countries use public transport (buses and trains) and we think that may explain the acceptance of driverless cars, where more trust is placed in fewer drivers for large numbers of passengers. Many trains and trams are automated these days, but that can’t explain the more established economies reluctance to embrace driver-less cars, since most large airports here in the US have driver-less trams linking different airport terminals.

“Most consumers expect to be connected to the internet wherever they are. Since they may spend much of their time in their car, it stands to reason they want their car to be more connected.  This consumer survey confirms that it is time to take the internet to the road and into our cars.”

Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for Connected Industries Group at Cisco

Watch out for further insights as I analyze the data more. And let me know whether you’d be happy to be a passenger in a driver-less car!

See the Press Release by clicking here



Peter Granger

Senior Sales Transformation Manager