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    J.D. Power Finds New Car Buyers Hate Their In-Car Nav, Want To Use Their Smartphones


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    January 31, 2013

    J.D. Power and Associates recently released their 2012 U.S. Navigation Usage Satisfaction Study and the results aren’t that surprising. Consumer happiness dropped 13 points in the study’s 1,000-point scale to 681, one of the lowest scores J.D. Power has ever recorded in the six years the study has been taken. Even worse was the overall satisfaction in voice controls, scoring 544 points out of 1,000.

    Even worse news for automakers: people are using their smartphones for navigation and point-of-interest searches.47% of the people surveyed had downloaded a navigation app to supplement their in-car system, up from 37% last year. The survey also revealed that owners “definitely would not” or “probably would not” buy the system in their vehicles if their smartphone’s navigation could be displayed on the screen.

    “Manufacturers of navigation systems face a serious challenge as smartphone navigation usage continues to rise and gains preference among vehicle owners. Free apps, up-to-date maps, and a familiar interface allow for quicker routing and improved interaction, including better voice recognition,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power.

    Source: Wired Autopia

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.



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    We're less than a tech generation away from having direct links to NAV apps between your smart phone and your car as a regular thing. You can already control Pandora, Stitcher, Siri, and others from your phone and have some of the visuals show up on screen. Why not NAV?

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    Wow people are carthing onto what I said YEARS ago. I DO NOT want to pay for crap I'll never use. Built in nav is damn near worthless. I don't want it. I will not pay for it. I will buy a car without it or I will not buy a new car at all.

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    Guess I am one of the few that actually hates the smartphone apps and slow 4g LTE response. (Interesting Observation that is confirmed by my wife and kids, we have unlimited Verizon and I have not been willing to resign a new contract. As such it seems even though they denies it that the upload and download has gotten worse)

    I would rather have a dedicated Nav in my autos.

    What the auto companies need to do is stop trying to reinvent the wheel and partner up with those companies that are already doing nav well and push out via satellite constant updated Nave to begin with.

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    Guess I am one of the few that actually hates the smartphone apps and slow 4g LTE response. (Interesting Observation that is confirmed by my wife and kids, we have unlimited Verizon and I have not been willing to resign a new contract. As such it seems even though they denies it that the upload and download has gotten worse)

    I would rather have a dedicated Nav in my autos.

    What the auto companies need to do is stop trying to reinvent the wheel and partner up with those companies that are already doing nav well and push out via satellite constant updated Nave to begin with.

    Once I updated my wife's phone, I had to let go of the unlimited data. :( But if it's slower, then maybe it's ok.

    I agree with you about the dedicated nav. My next vehicle will have it, either stock or aftermarket. I do like Google Maps on my phone, but it's rather inconvenient while I drive.

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    Perfect reason for the car companies to partner with others that do it better than do it themselves. GM always seems to be 2 yrs behind on updates. I got the latest DVD for both my Trailblazer and Escalade and while it updated many things, there are roads that have been around for the last year plus that are still not showing up on the nav and yet both Bing maps and google maps shows these roads. Course interesting thing is my son on his iPhone with Apple maps does not show the updated HOV lans/ramps. Wonder if Apple and GM use the same supplier for maps. :P

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    Wow people are carthing onto what I said YEARS ago. I DO NOT want to pay for crap I'll never use. Built in nav is damn near worthless. I don't want it. I will not pay for it. I will buy a car without it or I will not buy a new car at all.

    Your comment is what I hear from Baby Boomers all the time. Some finally see the benefit of having NAV in their auto when they go on road trips, others which is most of the baby boomers do not want to learn. I have found that when you stop learning, you die. Example is uncles who have passed away in their 70's as they just wanted to sit around and watch TV and then I have my Grandparents in their late 90's who keep on learning and pushing. My Grandpa died at 95 due to cancer as he hated doctors. But my Grandma who is 96 was just told by the Cardiologist that we will need to plan to replace her pacemaker battery when she turns 100 and he sees no reason she cannot keep going. :P

    Learning and change is grand! :D

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    Wow people are carthing onto what I said YEARS ago. I DO NOT want to pay for crap I'll never use. Built in nav is damn near worthless. I don't want it. I will not pay for it. I will buy a car without it or I will not buy a new car at all.

    Do dealers in your area make you order navigation units at gunpoint?

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    More and more, it's in the nicer cars though, whether we want it or not.

    I am proud of GM for being late to the game. Turn-By-Turn through Onstar is a fine way to integrate nav help in a vehicle, but "competitive pressures" forced them to start polluting their dashes with these crappy systems.

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    More and more, it's in the nicer cars though, whether we want it or not.

    I am proud of GM for being late to the game. Turn-By-Turn through Onstar is a fine way to integrate nav help in a vehicle, but "competitive pressures" forced them to start polluting their dashes with these crappy systems.

    In other words, the Impala will finally be catching up to Corolla?

    As nav systems have come down in price (which many have), OhStar TBT has looked less and less appealing. Especially to those like me who prefer having dynamic maps.

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    In this era of satellite nav systems and Google Maps on smartphones, is OnStar really just obsolete in some respects? Are Nav systems just plain obsolete in the smartphone era? It seems that there are only two advantages of nav systems: one can use it without being distracted AND a car nav uses an 7-8" screen, rather than the 5" or smaller smartphone screen. Is that enough anymore?

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    In this era of satellite nav systems and Google Maps on smartphones, is OnStar really just obsolete in some respects? Are Nav systems just plain obsolete in the smartphone era? It seems that there are only two advantages of nav systems: one can use it without being distracted AND a car nav uses an 7-8" screen, rather than the 5" or smaller smartphone screen. Is that enough anymore?

    Those are huge advantages, given that everyone's fighting against distracted driving these days... lawmakers and manufacturers alike.

    Third advantage: Mobile data plans ain't as cheap as they used to be.

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    Oh boy, OnStar turn-by-turn, something you have to pay an annual fee for! And there's no map screen. Personally, I like the ability to glance a map to get an idea where an upcoming turn is in a place I'm not familiar with, or a complex highway junction I'm not familiar. That said, I use my Google Navigation on my smartphone. It stays up to date, very accurate, very specific, looks good and has lots of features. Oh and its free. Now, I want to say that an automaker was developing an infotainment system that lets you pair your smart phone's navigation to the car's screen, but I can't remember who.

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    More and more, it's in the nicer cars though, whether we want it or not.

    I am proud of GM for being late to the game. Turn-By-Turn through Onstar is a fine way to integrate nav help in a vehicle, but "competitive pressures" forced them to start polluting their dashes with these crappy systems.

    In other words, the Impala will finally be catching up to Corolla?

    As nav systems have come down in price (which many have), OhStar TBT has looked less and less appealing. Especially to those like me who prefer having dynamic maps.

    Agree, the OnStar Turn by Turn sucks. The systems look like their from the 80's and I am not at all impressed with them. I would rather have a dynamic map on a nice screen nav system with a ladies voice to remind me of up coming changes.

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    Would be nice to have a standard wireless connection for smartphones & tablets to connect to an external touchscreen. Then buy the car with built in touchscreen, and be able to just connect your device. No more built-in outdated NAV. But of course they can't keep it that simple, cuz they'd be worried you'll play Angry Birds while driving, so there would have to be oodles of complex safety systems involved, etc...

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    Oh boy, OnStar turn-by-turn, something you have to pay an annual fee for! And there's no map screen. Personally, I like the ability to glance a map to get an idea where an upcoming turn is in a place I'm not familiar with, or a complex highway junction I'm not familiar. That said, I use my Google Navigation on my smartphone. It stays up to date, very accurate, very specific, looks good and has lots of features. Oh and its free. Now, I want to say that an automaker was developing an infotainment system that lets you pair your smart phone's navigation to the car's screen, but I can't remember who.

    I think it is Kia

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    Well yes, Onstar comes with a fee, but how much does a nav system add to the price of a given car, it has a cost somewhere. Anyway, I don't care about Onstar or nav systems.

    I admit I have never used turn-by-turn in any of my GM vehicles. I am content without a smartphone, without any sort of nav system. Except for an in-car compass. I love those and find them extremely useful for the kind of driving I do. It's a small, important feature lacking in my Patriot, and it mystifies me why a Jeep ® brand vehicle wouldn't have one. It seems a natural to me.

    If nav is going to be a permanent part of new vehicles going forward, I'd rather it be something simple like the smartphone interface through the radio screen some of you are describing. That way when I don't use it I don't feel like I spent money for nothing.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    I still use my Garmin. It is payed for, doesn't require monthly fees, won't get me a ticket when it directs me to my destination, doesn't distract me going through menus and looking at a tiny screen, 99% of the time gets a perfect signal and is just as portable going between vehicles. I do have to occasionally update it for a small cost but most of the time it is dead on and gets me right where I need to go year after year. I would never pay for an in built Nav unit in a car unless it was used and already came with it.

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    I agree, ponchoman49. My Garmin works just a good as yours and I've had it about 3-4 years now. I've only updated it once in that time and it hasn't gotten me lost. When I purchase my next vehicle, unless another option requires it, I would likely forgo the navigation option. Now the wife's vehicle will be a different story - she has a problem with directions and I don't want her fiddling with her iPhone for directions. Or I can just buy her a Garmin too :P

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    Guess I am one of the few that actually hates the smartphone apps and slow 4g LTE response. (Interesting Observation that is confirmed by my wife and kids, we have unlimited Verizon and I have not been willing to resign a new contract. As such it seems even though they denies it that the upload and download has gotten worse)

    I would rather have a dedicated Nav in my autos.

    What the auto companies need to do is stop trying to reinvent the wheel and partner up with those companies that are already doing nav well and push out via satellite constant updated Nave to begin with.

    Agree..........but they want to sell crap, and some put a gun to their own head and stand in line to buy it. I have a Garmin and I have a smart phone both of which work better than nav that comes in cars with less bs.

    Edited by RjION

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