According to a JD Power study, automobile voice recognition is an important technology but it has also been plagued with problems. Having the ability to connect a mobile phone and give commands via voice while driving remains in high demand but recently released study shows a lack of dependability.
While the interior and exterior design of a vehicle is important, today many people look for technology as part of car buying. In fact, the study conducted by JD Power showed that whether a car, truck, or SUV, if the vehicle does not offer the latest technology, up to 15% of potential buyers said they would not make the purchase. Compared to data from last year, that is up 9%.
Two of the key things studied as part of the 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study were systems for built-in voice recognition and complaints about connectivity using Bluetooth. In last year’s study, the same complaints were heard during the first 90 days of new car ownership.
As explained by Renee Stephens, VP of US Automotive at JD Power, even minor problems with in-vehicle technology are considered significant by owners. Car buyers want the latest technology and when things are not working properly they have no trouble speaking up.
The JD Power study, which is conducted annually, is just one of many performed to identify what consumers want from the automobile industry. The study also determined specific brands that consumers are most interested in to include Toyota, Lexus, Chevrolet, and Buick. Although other brands go to great lengths to ensure high quality, they do not fare nearly as well.
For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus, which is Toyota Motor Corporation’s luxury brand, has scored the highest. In fact, this brand was also ranked to be the best in the US market three years in a row by Consumer Reports magazine.
For both the JD Power and Consumer Reports studies, Buick, which is manufactured by General Motors (GM), has moved up significantly finishing second and in the top ten, respectively. For JD Power, 31 brands in all were ranked. In addition to Buick, GM’s Cadillac came in fourth while GMC and Chevrolet tied for 10th place.
As stated by Dave Sargent, VP of Global Automotive Research with JD Power, within the industry GM has achieved vast improvement for seven consecutive years. Sargent added that Buick still has an older owner profile that consists of people who take extreme care of their vehicles and are more inclined to depend on dealers for getting up to speed on new technology.
For introducing various new technologies, the Ford Motor Company has become rather aggressive. For instance, Ford introduced voice commands and many of the newer systems are easier to use than others. Even so, the company’s namesake brand dropped to number 25 compared to being 13 two years ago.
As part of the top 12 brands studied and ranked, Volkswagen AG’s Porsche and Toyota’s Honda were included. Falling to the bottom of the list are Tata Motors of India’s Range Rover and Chrysler Automobile’s Fiat.