DALLAS – Car shoppers in the U.S. are crazy for connected cars and rank a Wi-Fi hotspot as the No. 1 feature that they are willing to purchase for their vehicle, according to a new survey.
Three out of every four consumers said they consider connected-car services an important feature in their next car purchase, said a new AT&T Drive Studio and Ericsson study.
A connected car is defined as a car equipped with a wireless Internet connection.
The connection lets the car run applications such as streaming music services and Internet radio, along with navigation services. The connectivity also lets the car operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot for devices.
Incredibly, 78 percent of car buyers surveyed globally said they would delay a car purchase by one year to buy a car with connected-car services from their preferred brand, the study said.
U.S. buyers said they prefer to add their connected-car wireless connectivity to a shared data plan.
General Motors, an AT&T partner, has been a leader in rolling out vehicles with OnStar 4G LTE connections.
AT&T also announced a deal earlier this year to bring high-speed Internet into Jaguar Land Rover North America vehicles and a partnership with Subaru of America to boost infotainment system offerings.
AT&T began offering wireless connectivity in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models in September and will follow with more Jaguar and Land Rover models later this year.
“This study confirms that drivers today are tech savvy and value services that improve their driving experience,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility, in a statement. “With this increased awareness, we believe you’ll see adoption of integrated wireless connectivity in the car continue to take off.”
Edmunds says: There’s no reason to delay your car purchase by a year, since more automakers are offering vehicles with an Internet connection.