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Industry News: New J.D. Power Study Reveals Most Drivers Don't Use A Vehicle's Navigation System

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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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I just recently had the opportunity to drive fully loaded Subaru Outback and Mazda 6.  While Subaru's Eye Sight safety system is a little bit too intrusive with too many beeps it is useful and rated very highly, I liked Mazda's system better because it was less intrusive.

However, Navigation in both vehicles is absolutely useless.  And it is a shame that people pay premium to use that option in the built in large screens and then they have to use phones or other Navigation devices.  It really puzzles me how manufacturers system be so bad when the market is flooded with good navigation systems, let alone Google and Apple Maps.

It is really time for them to embrace smartphone integration in all the new vehicles.

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Is the Apple Play and Google Play integration not supposed to fix this problem of sucky Nav's?

Big problem that was created by the OEMs was they want to charge $500 for a Nav update. That DVD update is just so overpriced when you have your smartphone maps being updated all the time during the year. 

This has been my biggest complaint to GM about not using smart Nav's that update all the time over their satellite system.

GM could have destroyed the competition by giving continuous updates to their auto nav systems over the OnStar network. They could have done this years before anyone thought of Google or Apple play. Yet that "We have to nickle and dime the consumer", is what has hurt more than helped them.

@Drew Dowdell @William Maley Guys, can you expand on the Google / Apple Play system? Does it give you the smartphone maps on the built in car nav system? Or what is the details here? My mind is drawing a blank and I think this would be a great write up on the inner workings of this system.

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31 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Is the Apple Play and Google Play integration not supposed to fix this problem of sucky Nav's?

Big problem that was created by the OEMs was they want to charge $500 for a Nav update. That DVD update is just so overpriced when you have your smartphone maps being updated all the time during the year. 

This has been my biggest complaint to GM about not using smart Nav's that update all the time over their satellite system.

GM could have destroyed the competition by giving continuous updates to their auto nav systems over the OnStar network. They could have done this years before anyone thought of Google or Apple play. Yet that "We have to nickle and dime the consumer", is what has hurt more than helped them.

@Drew Dowdell @William Maley Guys, can you expand on the Google / Apple Play system? Does it give you the smartphone maps on the built in car nav system? Or what is the details here? My mind is drawing a blank and I think this would be a great write up on the inner workings of this system.

@dfelt I can delve a bit with CarPlay, Drew might be able to explain Android Auto better. Basically, both systems are able to mirror your smartphone and provide some of the applications that can be used in the vehicle's head unit. That includes the mapping software both come with (Apple Maps for CarPlay, Google Maps for Android Auto). The picture I have in this post shows Apple Maps being used on Volkswagen's headunit. Hopefully, this clears up some confusion. 

 

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3 hours ago, dfelt said:

Is the Apple Play and Google Play integration not supposed to fix this problem of sucky Nav's?

Big problem that was created by the OEMs was they want to charge $500 for a Nav update. That DVD update is just so overpriced when you have your smartphone maps being updated all the time during the year. 

This has been my biggest complaint to GM about not using smart Nav's that update all the time over their satellite system.

GM could have destroyed the competition by giving continuous updates to their auto nav systems over the OnStar network. They could have done this years before anyone thought of Google or Apple play. Yet that "We have to nickle and dime the consumer", is what has hurt more than helped them.

@Drew Dowdell @William Maley Guys, can you expand on the Google / Apple Play system? Does it give you the smartphone maps on the built in car nav system? Or what is the details here? My mind is drawing a blank and I think this would be a great write up on the inner workings of this system.


This. Nobody wants to pay $500-1,000 for Nav that needs a $200 update every 2 years to stay semi-accurate. That's not even touching the bigger problem. Many of these nav systems just suck to use. Poor graphics, glitchy and slow operation, terrible voice recognition, dreadful user-friendliness, tiny screens, bad directions are some issues that plague many a Mfr's OEM nav systems. 

 

As for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they work very well, but so far, makers are slow to integrate these features. Many, such as Toyota, just seem to be adamant about using their own systems, which are woefully outdated and inferior in operation. It's like they've decided they are capable of outdoing everyone else, when in reality they just all need to start with a clean slate.

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I sometimes use mine(mazda 6), but mostly to get my bearings and to use a reference of how long or how far to places.
 

my updates are like ~$90 for , 4?, updates a year or like $50 for 1 update. i still use a garmin sometimes with lifetime free updates. i usually only do this when i don't have a passenger and i know the route is close enough.

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What a racket (updates).
I have a dedicated GPS I use frequently for work. I updated it via the web. Now I get a start-up screen when I run the GPS that says my maps are 55 months out of date. Pfft. 

In all my wanderings, there's been 1 new road about 1/8-mile long that my GPS shows me driving over an expanse of 'grass'. 'Update every 2 years to be semi-accurate'? Hyperbole. Once every 5 years would more than suffice. Any OEM pedaling 4 updates a year is simply fleecing the customer.

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Not surprised at all.  First off most people drive places they know, they drive back and forth from work, to the grocery store, to family's house, etc.  They don't need NAV for 90% of their driving.   Secondly, almost everyone has a phone that is as new or newer than their car, so their phone will probably have a better nav system anyway.

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What's ironic is that drivers are passing on the in-car NAV and deviating to their phones; they don't care for the in-car NAV but they LOVE the accident avoidance. 

I'm reasonably sure it has nothing to do with looking at their phones. :rolleyes:

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Two questions: do GM cars use Apple or Android for their maps?  If not, then how can anyone best avoid a NAV system without sacrificing features and amenities in a GM vehicle?

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I've never had a reason for in-car nav.... I'm sure I will have a vehicle with one sooner or later, but it just seems like a pointless feature to me.  I always have a smart phone with me and maps....even when I'm traveling and in a rental car, haven't needed to use one since I have my phone..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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our van has NAV but we never use it.  Got a thing in the mail from Chrysler to update it for $149.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I've used my iphone's maps on the Malibu's Apple CarPlay now a few times.  It's been ok so far.  I haven't been real adventurous with figuring out how it works exactly but the way it displays the maps is cleaner and obviously similar to the phone itself.

Apple CarPlay on the whole is intermittently handy, but really is in its infancy and I find it clunky at times.  Between that and hating Siri, i don't use it as much as maybe i thought i would.  It's better used on long drives.  Probably worth it itself for the maps use.

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I rarely use the Encore's NAV anymore and I've already told Albert the next vehicles won't have it.  I use Waze as my NAV app because I want the police and traffic alerts.  Since I have to carry two phones for work anyway, I just use one of them for NAV and music. 

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23 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I rarely use the Encore's NAV anymore and I've already told Albert the next vehicles won't have it.  I use Waze as my NAV app because I want the police and traffic alerts.  Since I have to carry two phones for work anyway, I just use one of them for NAV and music. 

Pretty much what we do also.

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      Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity and completed the training.
      For now, drivers are their best safety advocate to ensure that they understand their technology’s features, functions and limitations before leaving the lot. In order to reduce misuse or overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to:
      Read up: Read your owner’s manual to learn what systems are installed in your vehicle. See it in action: Insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway. Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technologies before leaving the dealership. For example, ask if there are scenarios when a technology will not function properly on the road.
      View full article
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