Carnakers, Customers Far Apart on Tech Desires

'Gee whiz' technlogies elicit a 'ho hum' response from consumers who are more interested in better gas mileage and safety technologies like rollover-control systems, a new Harris survey finds.

Published: 16-Dec-2004

t 30 children die in the United State each year because they are left locked in sweltering vehicles, but potential car buyers say they aren’t interested in the electronic technology that might prevent these deaths, according to survey data compiled by Harris Interactive.

“Car manufacturers are all looking at whether they should put this on their vehicles, but these advanced electronics are nowhere near the consumer’s consciousness,” said Scott Upham, senior vice president for automotive and transportation research.

Mr. Upham presented the first trade-named Autotechcast survey of new technology at a Detroit press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 8. The Rochester-based research firm, known for the Harris Poll, surveyed 14,424 Internet users in early November to find out which of 50 technologies car buyers knew about, cared about and would be willing to buy.

Many “gee whiz” technologies that suppliers and automakers eagerly discuss turn out to be “ho hum” ideas for the people expected to buy cars, the Harris survey found.

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