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J.D. Power: Demand for mobile, new laws create huge opportunities for automotive tech providers

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May 27, 2011 For anyone with an idea for technology that would allow drivers to safely use mobile devices while driving, the world is your oyster, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report release_notesd Friday.

Mobile technology and capability is evolving even as state lawmakers are restricting drivers' ability to use those technologies while driving. That creates huge opportunity for vehicle manufacturers and automotive technology providers to invent devices and technology that can allow drivers to safely use mobile devices behind the wheel. Indeed, automotive technology providers stand to gain the most from filling this vacuum because creating such technology is a somewhat risky proposition for automakers.

"The key for automakers and suppliers regarding hands-free technology, as with most technologies, is to integrate it into the vehicle in a way that is easy to understand and operate, yet sophisticated enough to handle all of the tasks that drivers expect," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk executive director of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. "The engineering is extremely complex, but the driver interface has to be simple."

J.D. Power reports that 86 percent of smartphone owners use their phone while in their vehicles. The most common usage is making calls and getting directions. Even when presented with the price tag for wireless connectivity in their vehicles, half of drivers express interest in it.

"Consumers want to make use of their smartphones while driving, and most are willing to pay for the technology that enables this," said VanNieuwkuyk.

For more information on J.D. Power and its automotive research, visit

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