J.D. Power: Futuristic TV Cars Becoming Reality. Are Drivers Ready?
"Given that a consumer's technology experience is highly predictive of their future technology desire and brand loyalty, automakers should carefully examine the user experience and provide customers with useful, reliable and valuable features. As always, the consumer will remain the ultimate judge for determining the value of technology and what should be incorporated into their next vehicle." -- Ruopei Wang, J.D. Power
My father is not a big fan of American TV, but he remains deeply impressed by a show he watched decades ago called "Knight Rider." Famous for its action-oriented plot—and David Hasselhoff—the television series made its way to China in 1995, 13 years after it debuted in the United States. Needing little introduction, Michael Knight's car, KITT, became my father's dream car due to futuristic features like a voice synthesizer, automated driving capability and micro-scanners.
Thanks to technology innovations by automakers and suppliers, vehicles nowadays can provide entertainment, information, driving assistance, collision protection and connectivity systems that are safe, reliable, comfortable and efficient. As anticipated, my father equips his car with quite a few of those new technologies trying to build his own KITT!
However, he is disappointed that many of the features are not as simple and intuitive to use as he expected. For example, he didn't understand how to use the vehicle smartphone app to remotely control various functions of the vehicle. He rarely uses the voice recognition system because the vehicle can't understand his instructions most of the time. Not to mention, he never uses built-in apps. Ultimately, he is encountering lost value from underutilization of technology driven by his hindered experience.
This is not a special case according to a recent J.D. Power pulse survey jointly conducted by J.D. Power and BitAuto regarding Chinese consumers' experience, expectation and preference for in-vehicle technologies. The survey finds that consumers are reluctant to use some of the in-vehicle technologies for various reasons. They may have another device that better performs the same function (46 percent); do not want to incur further costs to use (32 percent); do not need it (28 percent); and do not know how to use it (27 percent).
The survey looked at three categories of common in-vehicle technologies: entertainment and connectivity; comfort and convenience; and driving assistance/navigation. Useful and easy-to-use technologies are the most frequently used and are well received by customers.