Driver safety systems annoy you the more automakers double as your nanny, says J.D. Power

Automakers are struggling to walk the line between driver assistance systems that are helpful yet not overbearing.

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Driver safety features are overbearing and a slew of notifications has the potential to squash demand, according to J.D. Power survey. If these initial systems are frustrating it's likely that drivers will be reluctant to adopt more autonomous driving systems.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have become so annoying that drivers are turning them off and may try to avoid them in future vehicles. The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study highlights how technology needs to walk that line between being helpful and being your nanny.

J.D. Power's TXI measures experiences, usage and interaction with driver technologies at 90 days of ownership. The data points are critical to automakers since technology satisfaction often determines whether they will recommend or repurchase a brand.

Brand models that had the highest technology experience rankings included the Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Blazer, Kia Stinger, Porsche Cayenne and Ford Expedition.

The findings include:

  • 23% of customers with lane-keeping and centering systems say the alerts are annoying or bothersome. Among respondents, only 8% of owners of one domestic brand said those lane-keeping systems were annoying, but some import brands annoyed 30% of their owners. That wide gap highlights that these lane-keeping technologies are immature and being worked out.
  • 61% of lane-keeping and centering systems customers disable it.
  • Collision protection had the highest score, which was 813, among the six categories tracked. Smartphone mirroring, comfort and convenience and entertainment technologies were clustered together in terms of scores between 782 and 789.
  • Overall satisfaction with new vehicle technology ranges widely with the Kia Stinger ranking the best with a score of 834 on a 1,000 point scale with the lowest scoring model getting a 709. The average is 781.

What remains to be seen is whether automakers can come up with systems that can compete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For instance, 69% of TXI respondents said they have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. J.D. Power noted that it expects Apple and Google to begin to eat into services provided by automakers.

It is also worth noting that drivers are starting to avoid built-in apps on autos in favor of smartphone applications. Indeed, 29% of owners have discontinued use of built-in apps and nearly half say they don't need them. 

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