Blind Spot Detection, Rearview Cameras Are Most Wanted Car Safety Tech Features, Edmunds Survey Says

SANTA MONICA, California —  Blind spot detection and rearview cameras with park assist were the two features that tied for consumers' most-wanted car safety technology in a recent survey. Edmunds polled more than 2,000 active site visitors to explore the vehicle safety technologies that most appealed to them for their next car purchase.

"The most wanted features, like the blind spot detection, act more like co-pilots for your car, said Edmunds Senior Analyst Ivan Drury, "providing drivers with 360 degrees of information they wouldn't otherwise have."

In the survey, 89 percent of people said they wanted their next car to have rearview cameras with park assist, which is another term for rear back-up sensors. Among those respondents, 61 percent were willing to pay $100 to $500 for the camera and sensors.

Those unwilling to pay for back-up camera technology now only have to wait a couple years. By law, rearview monitoring technology will be standard on all vehicles by the 2018 model year.

"Safety technology has evolved from features that mitigate the severity of an accident to features that can prevent an accident, bringing us closer to fully autonomous driving," Drury said.

Blind spot detection tied for the most-wanted feature: 89 percent want it and 56 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay $100 to $500 for it.

Automatic high beams were the least-valued technology, with 65 percent of respondents expressing interest in the technology, but not a willingness to pay extra for it.

Adaptive headlights were a popular feature, with 80 percent of respondents wanting the technology on their next vehicle, but 95 percent of them unwilling to pay more than $500 for it.

Front crash prevention technology, which includes forward collision warning and autonomous braking systems, took 3rd place among the most wanted features in the survey, with 79 percent of people wanting it in their next vehicle. Among those who wanted front crash prevention, 55 percent were willing to pay up to $500 and an additional 16 percent would pay up to $1,000.

"Consumers told us they both wanted and were willing to pay for front crash prevention, which leads us to believe that drivers are receptive to some self-driving elements of the latest safety technologies," Drury said.

Right lane cameras, as seen on newer Honda CR-Vs and Accords, were cited as a desirable technology, with 71 percent of respondents saying they'd like to have this feature, which gives the driver a better view of the road when the right blinker is activated. Fifty-four percent of those who said they'd like a right lane camera in their next car said they'd pay $100 to $500 for it. But just 4 percent said they'd pay more than $500 to have it. 

Edmunds says: Car buyers crave the latest technologies, but few are willing to hand over big money for them.

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