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CEA: Car Enthusiasts Want Technology

11/11/2008 09:22:00 AM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found significant demand for voice-controlled in-car products that help consumers control iPods and other portables when used in the car.

The study identifies an emerging group called “technology-enthusiast drivers” who are “early to mid-adopters” who regularly drive a car they own or lease (or that someone in the household owns or leases).

Sixty-one percent of the technology-enthusiast drivers said voice-controlled products are desirable for their car, according to the study performed in September. In addition, 57 percent want the capability to connect all of their portable devices wirelessly to a centralized vehicle entertainment and communication system, said CEA industry analysis director Steve Koenig.

“As more consumers use portable CE devices in-vehicle, it’s logical that the next step is a centralized system to help manage all portable devices,” Koenig said, noting that 89 percent of technology enthusiast drivers use their portable CE devices in the vehicle.

CEA estimated that sales of combined aftermarket and OEM in-car consumer electronics products will grow by 13 percent in 2008 to $12.2 billion, fueled by the growing technology enthusiast market.

The study, called The Technology Enthusiast Driver Population — Driving the Future of In-Vehicle Technologies, was released this month and includes data on the effect of hands-free laws on technology enthusiast drivers as well as the impact of travelling with children on CE device usage in the vehicle.

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