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  1. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” 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.
  2. General Motors has announced plans of moving towards an electrified and self-driving future. But in the foreseeable future, the company's core business model of selling vehicles to drivers will not be going away. “The owner-driver model will be there for a very long time. So far we see (mobility) as additive, but we see it as having potential to grow and be quite substantial,” said GM CEO Mary Barra during a meeting of the Automotive Press Association. Most of GM's and other automaker's profits come from crossovers, pickup trucks, and SUVs. But GM is planning for a possible future where the automotive landscape is very different. Back in October, the automaker announced an ambitious plan of launching 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 - two of those will launch within the next 18 months. The company is also planning to launch a driverless ride-sharing service in 2019. Source: The Detroit News
  3. 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.
  4. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” 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
  5. 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. View full article
  6. General Motors has announced plans of moving towards an electrified and self-driving future. But in the foreseeable future, the company's core business model of selling vehicles to drivers will not be going away. “The owner-driver model will be there for a very long time. So far we see (mobility) as additive, but we see it as having potential to grow and be quite substantial,” said GM CEO Mary Barra during a meeting of the Automotive Press Association. Most of GM's and other automaker's profits come from crossovers, pickup trucks, and SUVs. But GM is planning for a possible future where the automotive landscape is very different. Back in October, the automaker announced an ambitious plan of launching 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 - two of those will launch within the next 18 months. The company is also planning to launch a driverless ride-sharing service in 2019. Source: The Detroit News View full article
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