Drivers Fed Up With Useless Car Tech, Survey Reveals  

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Post #1 post 8th August 2023 - 08:36 AM
Drivers Fed Up with Useless Car Tech, Survey Reveals
Are car manufacturers paying enough attention to the frustrations and preferences of consumers when it comes to in-car technology?

A recent JD Power survey indicates that car owners are increasingly dissatisfied with the abundance of useless technology in their vehicles. This marks a significant decline in satisfaction, particularly related to infotainment systems. The survey resonates with Australian car buyers, who often struggle with the complexities of screen-based controls and multiple menus. Drivers frustration with car tech is a common occurrence, often accompanied by colorful language and distracted driving. The trend of eliminating physical buttons and switches to streamline functions onto touchscreens may further exacerbate these frustrations.

According to a recent JD Power survey, car owners satisfaction with in-car technology has seen a consecutive year-on-year decline. This decline, primarily attributed to infotainment systems, is a first in the history of the consumer research companys car owner survey.

Australians, like many new car buyers, find themselves grappling with the complexities of screen-based car controls and the numerous menus they entail. This struggle often leads to drivers feeling frustrated and resorting to expletives as they navigate through multiple control options. In some cases, this frustration even results in dangerous swerving while attempting to access controls while driving.

The rising trend among manufacturers to eliminate hard switches, toggles, and buttons in favor of touchscreens is driven by cost-cutting measures and centralizing functions. While this approach may have its benefits, such as a sleeker design, it also amplifies owners frustrations. JD Powers report highlights drivers dissatisfaction with fumbling through multiple menus to adjust their cars air-conditioning or deal with frustrating touchscreens.

The survey also notes that car companies are competing to outdo each other by piling on more and more technology in their products, which only serves to further irritate consumers. Car buyers are increasingly fed up with their cars infotainment systems, often finding them convoluted and less user-friendly compared to smartphone-mirroring systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The data from the JD Power survey reveals a preference among car owners for native operating systems developed by Google rather than those developed by automakers themselves. Models equipped with Android Automotive using Google Automotives operating system score higher in the infotainment category compared to those without it. However, models with Android Automotive, but without Google Automotive Services (GAS), receive the lowest scores for infotainment.

Recognizing this dissatisfaction, several manufacturers, including Ford, GM, and Volvo, have committed to incorporating Google Automotive Services into their current and future vehicles. However, there are also some car models from Stellantis that use Android Automotive but partner with other tech companies for their app services.

Googles native infotainment systems appear to be gaining traction, especially as GM controversially opts for it over Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in their future EV lineup. This move could potentially benefit GM sales, aligning with the increasing popularity of built-in Google systems.

Interestingly, survey data indicates that car owners are choosing not to use their cars native infotainment controls. Only 56% of owners prefer using their built-in system for audio, down from 70% in 2020. Additionally, less than 50% of owners prefer using native controls for navigation, voice recognition, or phone calls.

The JD Power survey also reveals that exterior styling has become a major concern for car owners, with many expressing their fatigue with bizarre and unattractive designs.

The JD Power 2023 US APEAL Study gathered responses from 84,555 owners of new 2023 model-year vehicles, capturing their feedback after 90 days of ownership.

JD Power survey shows a decline in satisfaction with in-car technology
Many car buyers in Australia struggle with complex controls
Frustration with technology often leads to distracted driving
Eliminating physical buttons and switches may worsen the problem

The JD Power survey highlights the growing dissatisfaction among car owners with in-car technology, particularly infotainment systems. The struggle to navigate complex controls and the trend of eliminating physical buttons and switches have only added to their frustrations. Additionally, the preference for smartphone-mirroring systems and Googles native infotainment systems indicate a preference for more user-friendly interfaces. Manufacturers will need to address these concerns and prioritize simplicity and intuitive functionality to enhance overall customer satisfaction.
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