A new J.D. Power survey finds that most people don’t use the new technology auto makers are putting into their cars. According to the survey:
At least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. The five features owners most commonly report that they “never use” are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); head-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). There are 14 technology features that 20 percent or more of owners do not want in their next vehicle, including Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. Among Gen Y, the number of features unwanted by at least 20 percent of owners increases to 23, specifically technologies related to entertainment and connectivity systems.
The angle of the survey can be seen in the headline of its press release, “Automakers Spending Billions on Technologies That Many Consumers Don’t Use.” That’s a relatively fair angle. But then again, how many of the built-in features of anything do we use? Like in our phones, the thing we fiddle with the most? Or Microsoft Office? Or video cameras? Most people use only a fraction of the features in any technology.
The study itself cites the predilection of people bringing in their own tech into the car, making many of the features redundant. It also mentions the very important point that the main purpose of a car is to drive it. It’s designed to drive, and for most of us, that’s all we’ll do with it.
But really, this is all part of the inevitable evolution to self-driving cars. After all, it’s real easy to see the headline of the article go from, “Most people don’t use the tech in their cars” to “Most people don’t use anything in their cars.” Except maybe the seat, of course.