Research: Motorists willing to trade privacy for safety

Though southern Illinois is not one of the areas in which autonomous vehicles are being tested, we certainly have our share of connected vehicles here. Connected vehicles are newer models with internet access and installed apps or devices that use the internet to connect for traffic or weather data. Of course, some connected vehicles also send data back to manufacturers about performance, accidents, problems, etc.

According to a new study, Americans who own a connected vehicle – or who are thinking of buying a connected car, van or pick-up – are willing to trade the data collected by their vehicles for enhanced safety. Though the data could well contain personal information or identifying information, a majority of the motorists surveyed are willing to share that data if they get in return a reduced likelihood of accidents and injuries.

The study by Otonomo and Edison Research shows that even after the heavy negative publicity in recent years about data breaches, consumers are still willing to give up some digital privacy in exchange for enhanced safety features. Those features include traffic and weather updates, alerts about dangerous driving conditions, needed maintenance for their vehicles, mechanical issues and so on.

Sixty-four percent of motorists also indicated that they want to know who is collecting the data from their vehicles and who is receiving it.

That doesn’t mean that people don’t trust carmakers, however: 71 percent of new car buyers and 77 percent of connected car owners say they are confident or somewhat confident that their vehicle data is secure.

Ninety-four percent of connected vehicle owners say they are interested in a vehicle feature that would warn them about dangerous driving conditions and 92 percent said they would like a feature that would enable emergency personnel to respond faster to car crashes. An overwhelming majority (92 percent) said they’re also interested in a feature that detects needed repairs and alerts them to upcoming maintenance.

We don’t yet know if connected cars make us safer, but we do know that those who are injured in vehicle wrecks should contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation to ensure that they receive full compensation for all damages.