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J.D. Power Study Finds That New Owners Don't Use a Lot of Advanced Tech Features

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【Summary】The study found that for more than one in three advanced tech features, fewer than half of owners said they used the tech in the first 90 days of ownership.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 10, 2021 4:00 PM PT
J.D. Power Study Finds That New Owners Don't Use a Lot of Advanced Tech Features

It's no secret that new cars are more expensive than ever. Ignoring the ongoing chip shortage, which has allowed dealerships to practically charge whatever they would like to for new and used cars, the price for cars has drastically increased over the past few years. Technology is one of the main reasons for higher car prices. Nowadays, even affordable compact vehicles are packed with the latest features. Unfortunately, while consumers are willing to pay the high prices for cars, they're not really interested in all of the new technology. At least, that's what a new study from J.D. Power reports.

Paying For Tech They Don't Want

The J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study found that consumers are buying cars and simply choosing to ignore the tech features that they're not interested in. Despite paying high prices for the vehicle and the technology.

"New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content," said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power. "This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners."

The study found that for more than one in three advanced technology, fewer than half of owners of new car owners stated that they used the technology within the first 90 days of ownership. Owners that don't use the technology simply said they don't see the need for it. According to J.D. Power, 61 percent of owners claim that they have never used the in-vehicle digital market technology and 51 percent of owners said they don't have a need for it. Driver or passenger communication technology is almost as unused.

Technology Does Make A Difference

When consumers purchase a vehicle with technology that they find useful, it greatly influences their decision to purchase another vehicle equipped with similar tech. Camera rear-view mirrors and ground view cameras were among some of the highest-ranked tech features.

One of the key findings of the study includes the fact that some tech features make the driving experience better, while others do not. Gesture control technology was found to be a nuisance, as owners gave the tech a poor score of 41 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). On the flip side, one-pedal driving technology, which is offered in some electric vehicles, was found to have high satisfaction levels with just 8 PP100.

Of the officially ranked automakers of the study, Genesis ranked the highest in the premium segment. Cadillac, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz followed after. In the mass market segment, Hyundai ranked in first and was followed by Kia, Nissan, Subaru, and GMC. Tesla had the highest score, but is not officially ranked because it doesn't meet the ranking criteria.

For the TXI study, J.D. Power analyzed 36 technologies that were divided into four categories: energy and sustainability; convenience; emerging automation; and infotainment and connectivity.

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