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Report Finds Most Owners Don't Bother Using Fancy Car Tech


Report Finds Most Owners Don't Bother Using Fancy Car Tech

A recent study from J.D. Power suggest that carmakers are investing billions of dollars on technologies that many consumers do not use. The 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report measures driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features during the first 90 days of ownership, based on responses from more than 4,200 vehicle owners.

The report discovered that at least 20% of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. Among the features most commonly reported by owners as those they “never use” are:

  • In-vehicle concierge – 43%
  • Mobile routers – 38%
  • Automatic parking systems – 35%
  • Heads-up display – 33%
  • Built-in apps – 32%

20% or more of owners also did not want 14 technology features to be in their next vehicle, including Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services, and in-vehicle voice texting.

Meanwhile, Gen Y saw the list of unwanted features increase to 23 for at least 20% of owners, with technologies relating to entertainment and connectivity systems being singled out.

“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,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “In-vehicle connectivity technology that’s not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers.”

Among all owners, most cited “did not find it useful” and the technology “came as part of a package on my current vehicle and I did not want it” as reasons for not wanting a specific technology features in their next vehicle.

Additionally, dealers who did not explain the features found on their vehicles makes them unlikely ever to be used by the consumer. Some do not even know they have these technologies in their new vehicle because they are not activated when the vehicle is delivered.

On the other hand, the features which were very much welcomed are those which enhance the driving experience and safety. Unwelcomed technologies included vehicle health diagnostics, blind-spot warning and detection, and adaptive cruise control.

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