Auto, Business

Consumers Want In-Vehicle Wireless Broadband

The results are in: consumers want their car to be a wireless hotspot.

That’s according to a new survey by market research group Compass Intelligence.

Compass Intelligence received responses from 1,320 vehicle and smartphone owners to create a profile of what drivers wanted. Surprisingly, having entertainment DVD systems in the car was of little interest. Younger and younger children are becoming more and more computer savvy. Most have their own or access to their parent’s tablets or phones for diversion while riding around town or across the country.

Social media feeds didn’t rank as a top requirement either. Text messaging and email from within the car has lost favor. Traffic laws and the push to warn against accidents caused while texting may have had an impact.


The connected car was a big item at CES 2014.

What did get high points from end users were maintenance and predictive analytics, i.e., how is my car performing, is it safe.

Keith Robinson, Sr. Strategist at Compass Intelligence said: “This is an untapped opportunity for companies that participate in the in-vehicle wireless broadband market.”

The statistics read like this: 66% of those responding to the survey said they want a system that detects when parts are malfunctioning before a complete breakdown. Half of the people want their system to tell them when preventative maintenance is due. Drivers who are on the road frequently want to get real-time traffic updates – 60% of respondents want to know where the traffic jams or accidents are so they can take alternative routes.

Much of what is driving opinions is a view of insurance rates. The survey found that people are willing to pay for a service that provides usage-based information that affects insurance rates in an effort to reduce their premiums.

Broken down by generation, baby boomers rated these services as of high importance. Millennials are the most likely individuals to buy vehicles that are equipped with in-car wireless broadband solutions.

The connected vehicle survey of consumers was part of the Mobility & Wireless Research Track at Compass Intelligence.  The company is a market analytics and consulting firm, specializing in strategy acceleration and insights for the high-tech and telecom industries. It supplies end-user behavior and purchasing pattern data to vendors hoping to get a jump on future trends. You can order the entire report or others for a fee.