Consumers want connected cars
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Consumers want connected cars

For any business, consumer demand plays a major role in the IT planning process. In order to know what technologies are necessary, leaders must understand what their target demographics are looking for. Those that produce products and services related to the automobile industry are increasingly finding that leveraging emerging IT solutions, including machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, is essential to their ongoing success.

According to a recent study from Cisco on the vehicle buying and driving experience, many of today's consumers are looking for their cars to have more automated features than ever before. Of the more than 1,500 respondents worldwide, 47 percent said that a brand's reputation for being technologically advanced plays a role in their decision to purchase an automobile.

Cisco found that savings and safety are among today's shoppers' top priorities when it comes to cars. In order to stick to a budget, 62 percent of those polled would buy devices designed to help track their auto maintenance and gas spending. Another 60 percent would be willing to provide companies with their fingerprints or DNA samples in exchange for more personalized security, while 65 percent would give out data such as their height and weight if it resulted in a more tailored driving experience.

Even futuristic IT advancements faired well in terms of public opinion. Fifty-seven percent of respondents claimed they would use a driverless car, and 46 percent would feel comfortable allowing their children to ride in such automobiles. This confidence in emerging solutions may be a result of many adults' increasing acceptance and enthusiasm for connected technologies in their everyday lives.

"Most consumers expect to be connected to the internet wherever they are," said Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for Connected Industries Group at Cisco. "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."

Drivers who want to see their cars become more highly automated and customizable may be in luck considering how quickly interest in M2M solutions is growing. In a 2012 report, MarketsandMarkets predicted that by 2017, the market for these technologies will reach nearly $86 billion billion. The research firm noted that some of the most important hardware components involved in today's M2M sphere are sensors, RFID and actuators.

Of course, M2M cannot become a more highly integrated part of everyday life without the help of businesses. Not only do IT companies need to continue striving to develop innovative tools, but firms in all sectors must determine how they can leverage new technology to benefit their customers and clients. But consumers won't be the only ones to benefit: As organizations embrace advanced solutions, they are likely to see their investments pay off in the form of revenue growth and higher overall customer satisfaction.