Poll: Drivers overwhelmed by too many tech features in vehicles

Poll: Drivers overwhelmed by too many tech features in vehicles

Four in ten consumers feel automakers offer too many infotainment features, according to a recent Harris poll.

–Automakers believe theyêre under intense pressure to launch new features and connected services to remain competitive,” said Larry Shannon-Missal, managing editor of the Harris Poll. But the poll suggests that educating consumers about the value of existing features and cultivating usage may do a better job both to sell cars and increase customer loyalty.

Because automakers measure car design success by the number of features offered, thereês a checklist approach to infotainment development, Harris Poll said. But redefining success with a focus on familiarity, usage, satisfaction and loyalty could be more effective.

Only 16 of 60 technologies evaluated got –good” familiarity scores. Backup cameras, satellite radio and backup warning systems scored the highest. The study found that if tech features are easier to use and consumers are educated about them, the technology will be used more.

Consumers are most interested in advanced technologies that prevent accidents and make them feel safer. That applies to some of the technologies that showed growth in consumer interest in the study: wireless mobile device charging, vehicle-Internet connectivity, lane-keep assist, hybrid electric engines and emergency front collision avoidance systems.

In-car features that are the least popular are built-in apps and voice-activated controls that compete with smartphone capabilities related to navigation, music and other areas.

Technology features are among the top five most important factors in recent car purchases (after price, fuel economy, reliability and value for the money), according to the Harris Poll. Women, parents, people with household incomes under $50,000 and millennials all put more importance on technology in recent years.

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