Automakers say that shoppers want loads of new tech in their vehicles, but that might not actually be the case. According to a recent study conducted by J.D. Power, drivers in general are unenthusiastic about advanced vehicle technologies. A total of 33 new automotive technologies were included in a survey that was handed out to new vehicle owners, and a shocking 20 percent of those people had never even used 16 of the technologies that are included in their recent purchase.
The top least-used featured was in-vehicle concierge services, with 43 percent of respondents saying they’ve never touched them. Surprisingly enough, 38 percent of people who have in-vehicle mobile WiFi routers also have avoided getting on the Internet while on the go. Third in line are automatic parking systems, with 35 percent of car owners saying they haven’t once turned them on.
During an interview with Automotive News, one J.D. Power executive said that drivers usually must use a new technology within 30 days of purchasing a car, otherwise they’ll likely never try it out. In many cases it comes down to people being scared of or frustrated by the electronics, which is where dealerships should step up.
One Ford dealer in Quincy, Massachusetts has found a solution to the problem, according to a separate report from Automotive News. It’s started hiring teenagers as tech counselors, formerly called the Technology Team. Their sole purpose is to walk new car buyers through the different advanced features on their vehicle. It’s an ingenious idea.
Complicating things further are the constant stream of reports about vehicle hacks. Such news strikes fear in the hearts of many consumers, such as Bloomberg’s recent story of how identity thieves are targeting in-vehicle connectivity systems to snatch valuable info.
While it’s easy to assume only older drivers hate many technologies, J.D. Power found that many Millennials don’t want certain advanced features in their car, mostly ones that are for entertainment or connectivity. Apparently even many young people think updating their Facebook status while commuting to work is a stupid idea.