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).
Following are additional key findings of the 2019 study:
- Apple and Google taking over? More than half (69%) of respondents say they have Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto in their vehicle. This is starting to jeopardize future sales of the automakers' factory-installed navigation systems. More than two-thirds (68%) of owners with Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto want factory-installed navigation on their next vehicle, compared with 72% of those without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This is a significant future profit loss for the automakers.
- Built-in apps not meeting users' expectations: The attribute for "ease of using built-in apps" is the lowest-performing attribute in the entertainment and connectivity category (7.63 on a 10-point scale). Among the 29% of owners who have discontinued the use of built-in apps, 46% say they "do not need it" and 18% say they "have another device that performs the function better." Apps on external devices are a competitive threat, so it's imperative for automakers to ensure intuitiveness and ease of use.
- High satisfaction drives recommendation and repurchase intent: Owner satisfaction with their vehicle technology experience strongly determines whether they will recommend or repurchase the brand. When overall satisfaction is greater than 900, 75% "definitely will" repurchase the same make again and 95% "definitely will" recommend it. Automakers looking to drive loyalty need to provide a highly satisfying tech usage experience.
- "Consumers are still very concerned about cars being able to drive themselves, and they want more information about these complex systems, as well as more channels to learn how to use them or how and why they kick in," Kolodge said. "If they can't be sold on lane-keeping—a core technology of self-driving—how are they going to accept fully automated vehicles? Dealers remain a partner in the process of helping translate to consumers what these technologies bring to the table, but consumers still need that element of trust that systems are going to kick in when they're supposed to. It's essential that the industry recognize the importance of an owner's first experience with these lower-level automated technologies because this will help determine the future of adoption of fully automated vehicles."
The Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR rank highest in a tie in the small segment; Kia Forte receives the award in the compact segment; Kia Stinger in the compact luxury segment; Chevrolet Blazer in the midsize segment; Porsche Cayenne in the midsize luxury segment; and Ford Expedition in the large segment. Ford Expedition, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stinger receive a segment award for a second consecutive year.
The 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study is based on a survey of more than 20,000 owners and lessees. Awards are based on responses from more than 16,400 owners who purchased or leased a new 2019 model-year vehicle in the previous 90 days that is an all-new or redesigned model within the past three years.1 The study was fielded February through July 2019.