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New Tech Drivers Hate: JD Power Study Finds Plenty

With all of the new tech in cars, today not all of it satisfies whatever its designers thought it would. And some of it is just plain annoying. You know we’re right. So JD Power put together its Tech Experience Index Study. While some drivers found it helpful, some of the new tech drivers just hate based on the JD Power study.

In general, drivers really like outward-facing cameras. Anything that improves visibility is welcome. Some of this may have to do with the thick A- and B-pillars, combined with blind-spot C-pillars. 

Drivers hate intrusive safety tech that takes over for the driver

Road Safety
Woman uses safety features in car | Getty

What do drivers hate? Intrusive safety that takes over for the driver. Drivers in the study expressed their unpredictability and lack of trust in the systems. That is in spite of the technical marvel of how well some of them work in controlled environment demonstrations. However, in real-world driving they can be confused and react unpredictably because of the variables involved. 

We’re talking about those technologies like emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. They come on suddenly and in many cases unwarranted. You wonder why and shake off the butterflies. In other cases after a close call, you wonder where that trigger is that calculated it was necessary 20 miles back but was missing when you felt you needed it.

Another thumbs down went to gesture controls. JD Power said it was “everybody’s least favorite new feature.” The TXI Study found gesture controls were responsible for 36 problems per 100. That’s more than twice the rate of the next disliked technological feature. 

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Three-quarters of drivers wanted integrated rear-facing cameras

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Almost three-quarters of drivers wanted their next purchase to have integrated rear-facing cameras. Ground-view cameras were also approved by more than 60% of those studied. And over 50% wanted the transparent trailer cameras on their next purchase. 

As for the gesture controls 14% of owners never used them one time. Almost 20% had tried the technology but decided they didn’t like it, and over 60% said they infrequently used the technology. Respondents said they were no better than other ways to interface with the car and in some cases not as reliable. 

For tech groups in specific makes, Volvo was the best in the luxury segment

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Mom gives her daughter a driving lesson. | Getty

Of the technology groups in specific makes of cars, Volvo was considered the best in the luxury segment. For mass-market brands, Hyundai placed at the top but behind BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, and genesis overall. 

Tesla was not part of the study because it wouldn’t give out customer info in the 15 states it was necessary to study. In the end don’t expect to see gesture controls last too much longer, while cameras to monitor what’s going on immediately around your car will be around and proliferate as the years go on.