J.D. Power: Show Me the Autonomy!
Many new-vehicle buyers are unaware that a lot of today's technology features are the underpinning of tomorrow's autonomous vehicles. Taking automatic emergency braking as an example. Nearly two-thirds of consumers do not recognize this as an autonomous feature. -- Eric McCready, J.D. Power
I recently had the dubious distinction of backing into a cement pylon. Or so I thought.
I could see the concrete culprit in my backup camera and, although the rear parking sensors were barking in my ears, I was certain the pylon was going to be a few inches to the side of my quarter panel. Then I heard a disturbing noise and my vehicle abruptly stopped. I had been warned several times—by the vehicle and my wife—but I chose to ignore them, and now found myself envisioning a trip to the body shop and an "I-told-you-so" from my wife.
Head down, shoulders shrugged and expecting the worst, I walked to the rear of my SUV to assess the damage, but none could be found. How can this be? I hit it. I know I hit it. My vehicle stopped and my foot was nowhere near the brake pedal. Pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The only thing damaged was my ego.
Luckily for my ego, I realized what had actually happened: I inched too close to the cement pylon and my SUV didn't trust me anymore, so it applied the brakes itself.
When I had taken delivery of my new SUV, the salesperson conducted what I thought was a thorough delivery. He paired my Bluetooth, set my radio presets and helped me download and set-up an app that could be used to start my vehicle from anywhere. He didn't demonstrate the automatic braking because, frankly, how do you safely do that?
According to J.D. Power research, nearly three-fourths of customers do not believe that a new-vehicle salesperson understands the latest vehicle technology. Even more consumers (77 percent) don't believe that a salesperson is concerned with how well they understand their vehicle's technology.
Many new-vehicle buyers are unaware that a lot of today's technology features are the underpinning of tomorrow's autonomous vehicles. Taking automatic emergency braking as an example. Nearly two-thirds of consumers do not recognize this as an autonomous feature. So to my consumer friends, I suggest that you practice patience when taking delivery of your new vehicle. Be sure to ask your salesperson if there is any material online, or in a manual should you choose to familiarize yourself later one.