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.

Emerging Tech

Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm

Farming hasn't changed too much for hundreds of years. Now a new startup called Iron Ox has opened its first automated hydroponics farm, producing a variety of leafy greens tended by machines.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Emerging Tech

This high-tech shopping cart from Walmart could save your life

Walmart has an idea for a shopping cart that monitors customers' health. Data from it could help it to improve the shopping experience, and enable staff to react quickly to accidents or sudden health-related issues among shoppers.
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

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

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.
Cars

Vanderhall Carmel adds creature comforts to the basic three-wheeler formula

The Vanderhall Carmel is the fifth three-wheeler from Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. It takes the basic design of the Vanderhall Venice and adds a handful of creature comforts, as well as a more powerful engine.
Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Cars

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.
Cars

Watch this 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk scorch supercars in the quarter mile

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is pretty quick out of the box, but Texas tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering never settles for stock. Its HPE1200 Trackhawk boasts over 1,000 horsepower.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).