While automakers are rushing to load cars with the latest in high tech gadgets, a new survey shows that car owners rarely, if ever, use the high end technology devices built inside their cars. The result is billions of dollars in lost technology investments for both the car manufacturer and the end users.
In a new report by J.D power titled 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE), surveyors were shocked to realize 20 per cent of car owners had never used 16 out of 33 (almost 50 per cent) of all technology features in their cars.
J.D. Power surveyed 4200 car owners in the first 90 days of purchasing and leasing a new car. The survey was conducted from April to June 2015. After the period, the users were probed on which car features they used.
The top five features owners said they never used were: inbuilt vehicle concierges (43 per cent), mobile routers (38 per cent), automatic parking (35 per cent),heads up displays (33 per cent) and finally built in applications (32 per cent).
Car owners proceeded to detail 14 features they absolutely did not want in their vehicles. These were Google Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, in-vehicle voice texting and in-vehicle car concierges.
Interestingly, when narrowed down to millennials, the number of users who did not want connectivity and entertainment systems in their cars increased to 23 per cent.
Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface (HMI) research at J.D Power said of the results, "In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they're familiar with the device and it's accurate. In-vehicle connectivity technology that's not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers."
Vehicle owners overwhelmingly reported that they would much rather prefer it if they did not have all those fancy technology features in their new cars. They said they simply “did not find them useful.”
The surveyed individuals said the features they would most like to be included in their new cars were features that enhanced safety including: blind spot warning and detectors, health diagnostics and cruise control.
According to Kolodge, "The first 30 days are critical. That first-time experience with the technology is the make-it-or-break-it stage. Automakers need to get it right the first time, or owners will simply use their own mobile device instead of the in-vehicle technology."
Billions of dollars are invested in advanced technology features every year for new cars. End users in turn, only use a handful of them. Car manufacturers in effect are faced with a diminishing returns situation: the more they put in, the less they are effective. Research such as J.D Power’s will be instrumental in figuring out the right tech for future generations of vehicles.