Cisco study: Many car buyers and owners will trade away really personal data to save money, avoid salespeople

Cisco study headerWould you buy your next car from a person, or a machine? According to a new study conducted by Cisco Systems, it might just be time to throw a cheap tie on HAL 9000.

Cisco’s Customer Experience Report claims that car buyers think tech will make their purchasing experiences better, and they’re willing to sacrifice some privacy – and some times a lot of privacy – to make that happen.

The study, which involved 1,514 consumer respondents in 10 countries, indicates that customers would consider using tech to buy cars and arrange dealer servicing, and that they would be willing to give carmakers personal data if it provided some benefit.

A global average of 83 percent said they prefer researching a car purchase online to going to a dealer in person or calling one. Buyers in the United States tend to use third party websites, while buyers in newer car markets like Brazil and India tend to trust manufacturer’s sites.

Once they get to a dealership, survey respondents said they would be comfortable using tech to purchase a car, even if human salespeople are available.

A global average of 50 percent said they would prefer using an interactive kiosk, even if they had the option of talking to a person, while 55 percent said they would be comfortable using video conferencing for the entire purchasing process.

The same is true of dealer servicing. An average of 64 percent of respondents said they would use a fully-automated dealership to service their cars.

Cisco_Study

How will dealers know what customers want without interacting with them? The answer, according to Cisco, is data.

Sixty-two percent of study respondents said they want “a device on their car that tracks their budget for gas mileage and auto maintenance,” and 52 percent want their car to monitor gas prices.

Once cars are able to collect data, respondents said they would also be willing to share it with carmakers and insurance companies.

A global average of 74 percent would allow their driving habits to be monitored in exchange for insurance or service savings, and 65 percent would share the same information, along with their entertainment preferences and even their height and weight to create a “more custom driving experience.”

In addition, an average of 60 percent of respondents said they would give car companies biometric data, such as fingerprints, to increase their cars’ security.

Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for Cisco’s Industries Group, said carmakers could use this data to improve vehicle designs and customer service, while customers themselves will be able to take advantage of discounts.

“The consumer will have a choice,” he said. Electing to share data would theoretically be tied to a tangible payback like an insurance discount.

Progressive already markets such an offer under its Snapshot program. Participants plug a device into their car’s OBDII port, and the data is sent via cell signal for analysis and a potential discount.

Although the OBDII connection can monitor virtually any vehicle system, Progressive only bases its discounts on when a person drives, how far they drive, and how forcefully they brake.

With enough data, an insurance company could make a more accurate risk assessment, but drivers would also sacrifice their privacy (and possibly their policies) in the process. They’ll have to decide which is more important.

Are Big Data and automation the future of car buying? What would you be willing to tell carmakers and insurance companies in order to save money? Tell us in the comments.

(Images © 2003-2013 Shutterstock, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Cars

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Cadillac drivers can now find and pay for parking from their dashboards

Cadillac hopes to make parking easier with a new embedded feature that allows drivers to find, reserve, and pay for parking spaces from their dashboard. It's the latest new feature of General Motors Marketplace.
Cars

Polaris builds Lunar Rover Vehicle replica with Indian, Slingshot, and RZR parts

Polaris Industries employees worked with a NASA astronaut and members of the original Apollo 11 Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) team to build a replica of the vehicle that landed on the moon. Most of the parts came from current Polaris vehicles.
Cars

2020 Lincoln Aviator adaptive suspension scans the road for potholes

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator's adaptive suspension system uses an array of sensors to detect potholes and other road imperfections, then preemptively adjusts settings to maintain a smooth ride.
Cars

I used to be a die-hard petrol-head, but Jaguar’s electric SUV converted me

Simply put, the Jaguar I-Pace is the first electric vehicle I’ve driven that hasn’t made me miss an internal combustion engine, or even once consider that I’m in an electric car. Regardless of how it is propelled, the I-Pace is a…
Cars

Audi’s latest suspension system can help protect you during a crash

The Audi A8 is getting a more sophisticated adaptive suspension system for the European market. The system can raise or lower the body in a fraction of a second, improving ride, handling, and even safety, according to Audi.
Cars

Tesla Model 3 is the world’s most-searched-for electric car, survey says

The Tesla Model 3 is the most-searched-for electric car in the world, according to a survey of Google search data. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S were far behind the Model 3 in second and third place, respectively.
Cars

For $25 a month, Uber will give you rides, rent you a scooter, and grab dinner

Uber is working on a monthly subscription plan that gives users access to discounted rides, free Uber Eats food delivery, and free JUMP bike and scooter rides. The plan is being tested in San Francisco and Chicago.
Cars

Amazon wants Alexa embedded in every vehicle to connect with smart homes

Amazon is following up on Alexa's penetration into smart homes with an incursion to embed the voice assistant in cars. There are third-party Alexa-compatible automotive aftermarket products, but the big score is in-vehicle software systems.
Cars

Toyota shows off mascot robots and tiny autonomous car for Tokyo Olympics

Toyota has shown off seven robots that it says will assist and entertain during the Tokyo Olympics next summer. The collection includes mascot and telepresence robots, as well as a tiny autonomous car to help during field events.
Cars

Acronis helps Formula E teams protect potentially race-winning data

Even race teams need good cybersecurity software. Acronis works with three teams in the all-electric Formula E series to protect and analyze data from race cars. It even devised a way to detect faulty sensors on cars.
Cars

Amazon helps Honda turn some of its cars into mobile mailboxes

Honda is making Key by Amazon available on a handful of its cars starting in July 2019. Owners of compatible cars who are also Amazon Prime members and have a valid HondaLink subscription can get packages delivered to their car's trunk.
Cars

Want to join the Android Army? Here are all the cars with Android Auto

Android Auto is great, but not every vehicle has it. If you want to know if your car compatible with Android Auto -- or if you're looking for a new ride that is -- we've compiled a list of all the cars that currently offer Android Auto…
News

Will going electric help Ford win the pickup truck segment’s towing war?

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.