Some alerts on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are so annoying or bothersome that many drivers disable the systems and may try to avoid them on future vehicle purchases, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study.
This is a major concern for automakers keen to market these lucrative technologies and pave the way for more highly automated vehicles in the future, said Kristin Kolodge, the firm’s executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research.
“Automakers are spending lots of money on advanced technology development, but the constant alerts can confuse and frustrate drivers,” Kolodge said. “The technology can’t come across as a nagging parent; no one wants to be constantly told they aren’t driving correctly.”
One example is lane-keeping and centering systems. On average, 23% of customers with these systems complain that the alerts are annoying or bothersome. This ranges from just 8% for one domestic brand to more than 30% for two import brands.
For these owners, 61% sometimes disable the system, compared with just 21% of those that don’t consider the alerts annoying or bothersome. Owners wanting the feature on their next vehicle ranges from 63% for those that consider the alerts annoying or bothersome to 91% for those who do not.
“Some brands are succeeding at making their safety technology effective without being overbearing. Some are good at one aspect but weaker at another, and some are struggling with both,” Kolodge said. “This is why one brand has 90% of its customers wanting lane-keeping/centering on their next vehicle, while another brand has just 59% of its customers saying the same thing.”
The study, now in its fourth year, measures owners’ experiences, usage and interaction with 38 driver-centric vehicle technologies at 90 days of ownership. Overall satisfaction with new-vehicle technology ranges widely. The best-performing vehicle in the study is the Kia Stinger, scoring 834 (on a 1,000-point scale). The overall average is 781, with the lowest-scoring model achieving just 709.
Collision protection has the highest score (813) among the six categories measured in the study. Smartphone mirroring (789) is second, followed by comfort and convenience (787), entertainment and connectivity (782), driving assistance (768), and navigation (744).