J.D. Power’s Annual Auto Technology Study- Safety Technology Threatened by Overbearing Alerts

Posted by at 12:55 am on August 29, 2019

New-vehicle owners are willing to adopt some driving assistance technologies, but are hesitant about other systems or alerts, according to J.D. Power’s annual technology experience study.

Lane-keeping and centering systems, as well as other alerts, can be so bothersome that new-vehicle owners will often disable them or avoid them on future purchases, according to the study.

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study, released this week, considers the way drivers interact with, or choose to disable, advanced driver assistance systems in vehicles.

The study measures owners’ experiences, use of and interaction with 38 driver-centric vehicle technologies, including entertainment and connectivity, collision protection and comfort and convenience. The study also measures owners’ experiences with driving assistance technology, smartphone mirroring and navigation.

Collision protection ranked highest in owner satisfaction of the six categories measured, with a score of 813 on a 1,000-point scale. Overall, the average industry score improved 15 points from last year to 781. This year, the lowest score was 709.

“Automakers are spending lots of money on advanced technology development, but the constant alerts can confuse and frustrate drivers,” said Kristin Kolodge, Executive Director of Driver Interaction & Human Machine Interface Research at J.D. Power. “The technology can’t come across as a nagging parent; no one wants to be constantly told they aren’t driving correctly.”

The Kia Stinger scored highest at 834 points. According to Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research at J.D. Power, the Stinger posted a satisfaction score above 800 in five of the six study categories. The top performing areas are driving assistance, where the head-up display and cluster were rated highly, and smartphone mirroring.

The Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Blazer, Porsche Cayenne and Ford Expedition also ranked highest in their segments. Aside from the Stinger, the top-performing vehicles’ scores were not made available.

Following are additional key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Apple and Google taking over? More than half (69%) of respondents say they have Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto in their vehicle. This is starting to jeopardize future sales of the automakers’ factory-installed navigation systems. More than two-thirds (68%) of owners with Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto want factory-installed navigation on their next vehicle, compared with 72% of those without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This is a significant future profit loss for the automakers
  • Built-in apps not meeting users’ expectations: The attribute for “ease of using built-in apps” is the lowest-performing attribute in the entertainment and connectivity category (7.63 on a 10-point scale). Among the 29% of owners who have discontinued the use of built-in apps, 46% say they “do not need it” and 18% say they “have another device that performs the function better.” Apps on external devices are a competitive threat, so it’s imperative for automakers to ensure intuitiveness and ease of use.
  • High satisfaction drives recommendation and repurchase intent: Owner satisfaction with their vehicle technology experience strongly determines whether they will recommend or repurchase the brand. When overall satisfaction is greater than 900, 75% “definitely will” repurchase the same make again and 95% “definitely will” recommend it. Automakers looking to drive loyalty need to provide a highly satisfying tech usage experience.

The study is based on responses from more than 16,400 owners and lessees of new 2019 vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Responses were gathered from February through July. This was the fourth year for the study.

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