What technology do you want most in your next car? Our poll results

September 16, 2016

New technology is often attractive to consumers. For proof, please see the lines of people snaking around Apple stores today, waiting for the new, headphone jack-free iPhone.

But technology isn't without its downsides. For starters, it's expensive for companies to develop and therefore, expensive for shoppers to buy. New tech also has a tendency to be glitchy--just ask any automaker that's labored to create an infotainment system that doesn't result in lawsuits or plummeting dependability rankings

In some cases, technology can even be scary, like autonomous car software. While such fears might seem silly, they're not entirely unwarranted

Given the wide range of options available on today's cars--and the wide range of shoppers strolling through showrooms--we decided to poll our Twitter followers to see which tech features they wanted most in their next rides:

As you can see, two infotainment systems took top honors: Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The former has been in the news since 2013, and the latter began making headlines soon afterward, so public interest has been piqued.

Why do so many seem eager to get their hands on CarPlay and Android Auto? It could be that our smartphones have become central to our lives, and we want to be able to use them during our commutes. It might also have something to do with the fact that automakers have done an iffy job of developing infotainment systems of their own. 

Whatever the reason, these results are in keeping with what we've seen elsewhere. General Motors, for example, says that CarPlay can now make or break a sale. Toyota should probably take note

As for wireless charging, that's undoubtedly popular for the same reasons as CarPlay and Android Auto: we love our mobile devices. We just need more ways to keep their batteries topped off.

We're encouraged to see that 20 percent of poll participants want self-driving technology. Most observers agree autonomous tech isn't quite ready for prime-time, but that will change, and as it does, demand will grow. 

And as for the five percent of folks who expressed interest in heated steering wheels...well, it's nice to see that some people still appreciate the simple things.

If you missed the poll, let us know what kind of tech features you want most on your next car in the comments below.

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