It\u2019s often easy to get swept up in the excitement of technological disruptions. Just looking at the news coming out of both the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress earlier this year, one would think flying cars are just around the corner. Clearly, technology is quickly driving connected cars and autonomous vehicles forward. In these cases, technology is certainly disrupting the driving experience. However, it\u2019s not disrupting the buying experience as much as\u00a0one might be led to believe.\n\n\nLet\u2019s take a look under the hood of the automotive market. Perception assumes few people shop in person anymore, with mobile and digital greatly disrupting the car buying experience. While there is certainly a shift in using mobile for research, data tells us consumers in market for a new or used car are still heading to physical dealerships to augment digital research. In fact, more than 40 percent of Millennials\/Gen Y cite visits to the dealership as an important factor in purchasing a new car, according to Deloitte. \u00a0And, Gen Z is no different, with 66 percent preferring an in-store experience, says a new survey from Euclid Analytics.\n\n\nIn addition, many consumers aren\u2019t just visiting one dealer; they are visiting multiple dealerships along their path to purchase. A recent\u00a0UberMedia report analyzing mobile location data from more than 18,000 U.S. dealerships, coupled with research from JD Powers, found car shoppers visit 2.4 dealerships on average, with more than half visiting up to five dealerships during their consideration phase. \u00a0\u00a0\n\n\nInstead of assuming technology is overtaking the car buying experience, the data shows dealerships should focus on providing useful content online and enticing potential buyers to come to their locations rather than a nearby competitor. I bet\u00a0Beepi wishes they understood this.\n\n\nData also highlights the\u00a0overlap of visits to different brand dealerships -- aka their competition. For example, shoppers who go to Toyota are also very likely to also visit Hyundai and Lexus. \u00a0\n\n\nAs technologists, we often get enamored with the next new thing. But, before shifting to a wholly tech-centric mindset and focusing on online-only autonomous vehicle car sales, let\u2019s pump the breaks and ask ourselves: \u201cAre we using technology for technology\u2019s sake?\u201d and \u201cDoes this really impact our business?\u201d\n\n\nData provides the necessary reality-check for us, helping us understand actual consumer behavior vs. perception, or even what they might self-report. It also helps businesses determine when and how to use technology to create the best experience for potential buyers.\n\n\nOh, and P.S., while we all believe autonomous vehicles are in our future, data shows us Americans\u2019 desire for fully autonomous vehicles is not going from zero to sixty anytime soon. So, let\u2019s not get too far ahead of ourselves there either.