Do Truck Owners/Buyers Care About Cabin Technology Offerings?
In the past few weeks, two different news stories are shining a light on all the infotainment, navigation and Bluetooth technology features found in new trucks. The quick synopsis is automakers are spending millions to develop these technologies, yet consumers and owners don’t really care.
The first news story is a study from JD Power. Their 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience report showed 20 percent of new-vehicle owners never used 16 of 33 of the latest technology features.
“In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human-machine interface (HMI) research at J.D. Power. “In-vehicle connectivity technology that’s not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers.”
The top 5 items not used are: in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); head-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%).
With customers largely not using the technology offerings anyway, a second, and older news story, should be revisited. This second news story was the hub-bub over the new Toyota Tacoma not offering Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. A rather direct Motor Authority story took Toyota to task for being “different” and not following the industry in turning over their dashboard to these systems. Motor Authority called the move “puzzling” (they are the industry insiders) and “bold.”
While not including these two systems seems a bit odd. It actually makes some sense considering people aren’t using the technology that much anyway – journalists do and that seems to be about it. Also, Apple and Google are both:
- Likely to try and force automakers to adhere to specific rules and standards if/when their interfaces become popular, saying “If you want to keep on using our OS, you need to do _____”, a faustian bargain for automakers who are afraid to invest in their own UI’s
- Going to monetize the vehicle’s data (when it’s driven, where, how fast, etc.) to build their respective empires, not to mention that this data will also help with the modeling they’re doing for the cars they’re both developing because…
- Both are actively working to build electric cars which – when fully capable – will probably be presented as an alternative to buying an automobile, eg “Why buy a new Toyota when you can rent an autonomous Google/Apple car anytime you want?”
- Have a mixed record when it comes to UI. Apple is great, but their in-car systems haven’t really shined. Android’s UI is mediocre on any device.
Filed Under: Auto News