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Many Drivers Don't Use the Head-up Display or Automated Parking Systems, Study Finds

These days, carmakers try to fit as many gizmos, safety features and driver assistance systems as they can in new cars, but a new study shows drivers don't use all of them.
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The head-up display, parking sensors and in-car apps are just some of the goodies car manufacturers fit in their cars with one purpose: to make life easier for the driver.

Also, it goes without saying that brands invest loads of money to research and develop these features, but for some reason, some of them are not considered as useful by drivers, according to the J.D. Power's 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report.

Before we get to the bottom of it, let's see how the 2015 DrIVE Report works. The concept is rather straightforward, as it measures driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features during the first 90 days of ownership. All in all, 33 features have been monitored by researchers and analysts.The findings
The report concluded that at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 systems and features examined. But wait, there's also a list of the top five functions that are the least used by drivers.

According to the study, in-vehicle concierge is the most unused feature. Believe it or not, 43 percent of the drivers who own cars equipped with this type of functions ignore them. Mobile routers are also not very popular among car owners, as 38 percent of them don't use this technology. Next in line are automated parking systems, which, surprisingly, have failed to impress 35 percent of car owners.

The list is rounded up by head-up displays - 33 percent of users disregard this function found on BMWs and MINIs, while 32 percent of car owners are not interested in their vehicle's built-in apps.

By now, you must be wondering who or what killed the appeal for in-car gizmos, right? Well, it's the almighty smartphone.

“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 & 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.”

However, there are some in-vehicle technologies that most owners would like to see and use on their cars. Among these, the study mentions vehicle health diagnostics, blind-spot warning and detection plus adaptive cruise control.

Moreover, specialists claim the first month of interaction with a car's gadgets are crucial and, other than that, the first contact with the above-mentioned features is what defines if the user will like or find a features useful or if he or she will decide not to use it.

So what could be done to improve the statistics? Should carmakers limit the amount of tech present in their cars, or should dealers help owners understand how the car's systems work? What's your opinion on this matter?


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