William Maley

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

25 posts in this topic

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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Not surprising... When I got the Megane last June I had a choice between ordering with Nav or an extended warranty; I went for the warranty without a doubt.

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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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    • By William Maley
      Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. 
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      The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      J.D. Power has announced the results of their inaugural Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study. The study focused on the experience of owners with a vehicle's technology features such as infotainment and safety during the first 90 days. The good news is the average satisfaction score was 730 out of a possible 1,000 points.
      But owners aren't impressed with their vehicle's navigation system. It earned the lowest average score of 687 in the study. More than half of the owners surveyed said they never even used the system, using the navigation function on their phones. Nearly a third who said they used the navigation system only used it for two weeks before resorting to their phones, citing issues with entering a new destination. Voice commands was also a pain point for many owners as the system didn't understand the commands and have to be repeated multiple times.
      “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it. It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power.
      On the flipside, owners really like collision avoidance technologies. Such features as a backup camera, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist earned the highest average score in the study of 754. Also, 96 percent of owners who have these safety features in their current vehicle want to have them in their next vehicle.
      Source: J.D. Power
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Safety Technologies Have Highest Satisfaction; Navigation Lags
      DETROIT: 10 Oct. 2016 — BMW and Hyundai each have two models that rank highest in overall customer experience with vehicle technology in their respective segment, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study,SM released today.
      The inaugural study measures a vehicle owner’s experiences, usage and interaction with driver-centric vehicle technology at 90 days of ownership. The major technology categories analyzed in the study include collision protection; comfort and convenience; driving assistance; entertainment and connectivity; navigation; and smartphone mirroring.
      BMW models that rank highest in their segment1  are the 2 Series (small premium segment) and 4 Series (compact premium segment), while the Hyundai models that rank highest are the Genesis (midsize premium segment) and Tucson (small segment). Model-level rankings and awards include 2016 model-year vehicles that were all new or redesigned within the past three years.
      Other models that rank highest in their segment are the Chevrolet Camaro (midsize segment); Kia Forte (compact segment); and Nissan Maxima (large segment).
      Safety Technologies Reign
      Among the vast array of technologies available in new vehicles, those that assist with collision avoidance have the highest usage and the highest overall satisfaction. Additionally, they are the technologies owners most want in their next vehicle, according to the study.
      Collision avoidance technologies—such as blind spot warning and detection, lane-keeping/centering and back-up camera/warning systems—are collectively part of the collision protection category, which has the highest overall satisfaction among the five groups of technologies included in the study index scores, with a score of 754 on a 1,000-point scale. In contrast, owners are least satisfied with their navigation systems (687).
      “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand.”
      Back-up camera/warning and blind spot warning and detection are the most often used technologies, with at least three-fourths of owners saying they use the technology every time they drive. Additionally, they are the most in-demand technologies, with 96% of current owners of the technologies saying they want each of the features in their next car.
      Other industries beyond automotive are keeping a close eye on in-vehicle technologies. For example, the insurance industry is closely tracking the use of safety-related technologies that, while potentially increasing claims costs when a vehicle is damaged, also help prevent or mitigate collisions and protect occupants when there is an accident. Auto insurers have been slow to add discounts for newer safe driver technologies, but that is beginning to change. Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a vehicle safety discount for teens driving a vehicle equipped with safety features, such as a lane departure warning system; adaptive cruise control; and collision preparation systems.2
      “As auto insurers begin to offer discounts for vehicle safety features, this may help raise consumer awareness that they actually have these technologies and the knowledge to use them properly,” said Jessica McGregor, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power.
      The Role of the Dealer
      Even if owners are aware they have an in-vehicle technology doesn’t mean they will use it.
      Among owners who say they never use a specific technology, 39% indicate they bring another device into their vehicle to replace certain technologies that are already present. Of those who bring in another device, navigation is the feature most often replaced. Furthermore, 57% of owners who bring in another device say they never used the in-vehicle equipment before bringing this outside device into the car to replace the vehicle’s features. Of the 43% who have used it, 56% stop using it within the first month.  
      “The dealer plays a critical role in whether or not a technology is used,” said Kolodge. “When the dealer takes the time to explain the technology or provide a demonstration, it not only makes the owner aware they have the technology, but also helps them understand how to use it, which means they are more likely to use it, continue to use it and, because they see the value, want it in their next vehicle.”
      Among owners who learn how to operate the technologies from their dealer, overall satisfaction is 25-54 points higher, compared with those who learn how to operate the technologies from another source or from prior experience. Technologies that owners say are difficult to use (DTU) put a strain on satisfaction.  Across all technologies, there is an average 98-point drop in satisfaction when owners have DTU issues.
      DTU problems not only deteriorate satisfaction, but they also affect the vehicle’s quality. Even though it may operate as intended, when a technology is difficult for an owner to use or understand, it is likely to be considered a quality issue. For example, navigation system difficult to use/poor location is the sixth most common problem in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). Owners who learn how to use their navigation system from the dealer report 2.0 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) fewer navigation DTU problems than those who do not get a dealer explanation.
      “By taking the time to show the technology to the new owner, the dealer can mitigate DTU issues, improving both satisfaction and quality,” said Kolodge. “The navigation system is just one area. If the dealer explains all or many of the technologies to the new owner, it can have a dramatic positive effect on the ownership experience.” 
      Gap between Premium and Non-Premium Is Narrow 
      Overall owner satisfaction with new-vehicle technology averages 730. Satisfaction among premium vehicle owners is slightly higher at 734, compared with 730 among non-premium owners.
      Overall satisfaction varies greatly by segment. Satisfaction is highest in the large segment (755), followed by the small premium segment (735); compact premium segment (732); midsize premium segment (731); compact segment (727); midsize segment (725); and the small segment (706).
      “It’s not just how much technology you have in the vehicle, but how well it’s delivered,” said Kolodge. “The technology’s usability and how well it is integrated into the vehicle are critical—that has to be done right.”
      The 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study is based on a survey of 17,864 vehicle owners and lessees. Awards are based solely on responses from the 13,269 consumers who purchased or leased a new 2016 model-year vehicle in the previous 90 days that has been considered an all-new or redesigned vehicle within in the past three years. The study was fielded from February through August 2016.

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