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Many Drivers Never Use In-Vehicle Tech, Don't Want Apple Or Google In Next Car 417

Lucas123 writes: Many of the high-tech features automakers believe owners want in their vehicles are not only not being used by them, but they don't want them in their next vehicle, according to a new survey by J.D. Power. According to J.D. Power's 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report, 20% of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of 33 of the latest technology features. The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don't want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.
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Many Drivers Never Use In-Vehicle Tech, Don't Want Apple Or Google In Next Car

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  • The Homer! (FP?) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dosius ( 230542 ) <bridget@buric.co> on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:31AM (#50400989) Journal

    People in general (there's always exceptions) just want something simple that works, not something loaded with useless and expensive gewgaws.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And in general "concierge services" fail. There have been countless attempts by credit card companies, dedicated websites, and now Cortana, Siri, etc. You can ask the service to book you a flight, rent you a car, etc. The stats are pretty clear. Nobody uses this stuff, and nobody believes for a nanosecond that these services get you anything close to a good deal.

      • And in general "concierge services" fail. There have been countless attempts by credit card companies, dedicated websites, and now Cortana, Siri, etc. You can ask the service to book you a flight, rent you a car, etc. The stats are pretty clear. Nobody uses this stuff, and nobody believes for a nanosecond that these services get you anything close to a good deal.

        s Part of the problem is that they aren't ready for prime time. I find even Apple's Siri (which is supposed to be good) to be next to useless. I asked it last night to find restaurants near a location and it came back with stuff 4 miles away (this was a downtown city location with restaurants literally across the street). In a car it's even less useful.

      • by JourneymanMereel ( 191114 ) <jakeNO@SPAMbugzilla.org> on Thursday August 27, 2015 @12:37PM (#50403561) Homepage Journal

        And in general "concierge services" fail.

        I've gotta believe that this concierge service is mostly GM's OnStar. I think the biggest surprise for me in the statistic that 43% of the people never use it is that 57% have. Though I guess just trying it out one time to see how it works would no longer qualify you for the "never used it" category.

        The simple fact is that most people don't want to be hit with a $100 (lowest tier paid annually) to $420 (highest plan paid monthly) per year bill on top of their car payment*. I have a vehicle that has OnStar built into it and I would much rather rip the whole thing out (including the buttons they spread through-out the car) and replace it with a simple BlueTooth connection to the stereo.

        * https://www.onstar.com/us/en/p... [onstar.com]

    • by LezGoLezGo ( 4067425 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:53AM (#50401083)

      People in general (there's always exceptions) just want something simple that works, not something loaded with useless and expensive gewgaws.

      It's ironic, that understanding this is what made Apple so successful in the first place.

      • People in general (there's always exceptions) just want something simple that works, not something loaded with useless and expensive gewgaws.

        It's ironic, that understanding this is what made Apple so successful in the first place.

        I'm not sure that is correct. Apple was going under in the 90s. Then Microsoft bailed them out to avoid anti-trust problems.

        • Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score:5, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 27, 2015 @08:22AM (#50401545) Homepage Journal

          I'm not sure that is correct. Apple was going under in the 90s. Then Microsoft bailed them out to avoid anti-trust problems.

          Apple became more fragmented and thus less simple in the first non-Steve-Jobs era. Look for it to happen again. Without clear focus provided by a leader with forward vision, any company goes sideways. Just look at what Carly did to HP, only looking back. Now I have to suffer idiots in my fb stream suggesting they might vote for her.

          • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @09:12AM (#50401877)

            I'm not sure that is correct. Apple was going under in the 90s. Then Microsoft bailed them out to avoid anti-trust problems.

            Apple became more fragmented and thus less simple in the first non-Steve-Jobs era. Look for it to happen again. Without clear focus provided by a leader with forward vision, any company goes sideways. Just look at what Carly did to HP, only looking back. Now I have to suffer idiots in my fb stream suggesting they might vote for her.

            I think your analysis is pretty accurate. Jobs had a vision and drove the company towards it. Others, have an MBA where they've been indoctrinated to focus only on next quarter's numbers. While Jobs did not intentionally try to displease or appease the shareholders, they were overall pleased with his results. However, if one's motivation is to please the shareholders, then you tend not to make strategic decisions that might be needed for the long term future. That is what happened at HP (and others) and happened prior to Jobs return. It's too early to tell if it will happen again at Apple.

        • Apple was going under in the 90s. Then Microsoft bailed them out to avoid anti-trust problems.

          That's not entirely accurate...

          Apple did have a fair amount of cash on their books in the 90s (that was part of what inspired the famous Michael Dell quote about shutting down the company and giving the cash back to the shareholders). Microsoft's "bail-out," though, was more about press than about money. $150 million wasn't that much.

          You're right that Apple was going under in the 90s. Why? Because everybody said so. [youtube.com] And if you're dealing with a company that's going under, do you really want to float th

    • by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:57AM (#50401109)

      Probably the same neolithic types that didn't buy Bob, didn't like Clippy, use ad-blockers, and disable javascript. Self absorbed jerks who impede progress. Long past time to send em off to re-education camps.

    • If we went by what people wanted, we'd have faster horses instead of cars. Driverless cars where people spend time in virtual reality facebook *are* coming, and everyone will wonder how we ever lived without them. Before then, we'll have a hodgepodge of crap, like heads up display of facebook and cars that don't quite drive themselves but get in the way right in the wrong moment.

    • I recently bought a new car and thought I would never use any of this fancy new tech either (just keep it simple). I was upgrading from an old car that had almost no tech.

      But then I discovered the dashboard apps, Pandora in particular. Now I've went from car tech Luddite to car tech believer. It's fucking awesome. Goodbye AM and FM radio, and your shitty stations with music I don't want to hear! HELLO 21st CENTURY!

      • Why? Doesn't Pandora require an internet connection?

        Just give me a working interface for an iPod or any other MP3 player and that's all that's needed.

        • Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score:4, Informative)

          by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @11:37AM (#50403113) Journal

          Agreed - a bluetooth connection is all that is really needed, with maybe the ability to act as a larger remote screen (or device mirror) for what's on the phone (for GPS and etc).

          Come to think of it, I can buy an aftermarket kit [amazon.com] that does that now... (yeah, this one is double-DIN in height, but so is my existing car stereo kit.)

          So why buy a car that will have this built-in (and will become obsolete in less than 10 years) when I can just buy a kit that fits into my car now? Hell, I could bolt this under the dash of an old 1960's era car if I wanted to...

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @08:28AM (#50401577)

      I'd be happy if folks would just bother to use their blinkers, instead of fiddling around with other hi-tech in their cars.

      • by doggo ( 34827 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @10:04AM (#50402299) Homepage

        "I'd be happy if folks would just bother to use their blinkers, instead of fiddling around with other hi-tech in their cars."

        I'd be happy if people would go forward when the light changes so I can get through the intersection before the light turns red again. instead of texting, or updating Facebook, or whatever the fuck they're doing with their stupid phones.

    • This is what I believe is going to be the same response to the much-pushed "internet of things".
      I don't want my refrigerator to talk to the fucking internet, *particularly* if it's just an effort for some marketeer to convince me that I desperately need this new service so he can monetize it.

      I want:
      - minimal cost to perform the functions I want
      - no additional 'features' that admit additional points of failure in that basic function

  • by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:32AM (#50400991)
    ... but only if it is like a jet figther HUD, only relevant data like speed, fuel remaining and alerts (like "low oil")
    • Yes - Speed and Fuel left are the only useful things
      well that and satnav ...

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @07:06AM (#50401157) Homepage

        Well, here's my take on the satnav ...

        My wife's previous car had built in satnav. It was driven from a DVD. Apparently upgrading the DVD would have cost around $800 or so from GM. This for older tech built into the dash. And the display tech was pretty lame and outdated.

        My TomTom cost me under $175, comes with lifetime maps, and I can move it from my car to the wife's car, to a rental car, or to my parents car when I'm visiting. It doesn't require a data plan, no company gets to serve me ads or track where I go. It's got the really nice split screen to tell me "you need to be in one of these two lanes, definitely none of these three".

        I just don't see value in the satnav being built into my car. It will be older tech very quick, much more expensive to replace, and you're stuck with it.

        When you factor in the cost of these accessories when they come in the car vs buying an aftermarket device, it's just really not a cost effective way to do this.

        And as far as speed and fuel ... unless you're a race car driver I'm having a hard time believing you can't check these two things safely while driving. People have been doing it for decades, and only the most beginning of driver can't watch his speedometer and drive.

        And, hell, my TomTom displays my speed as well. And I can look at it and barely take my eyes off the road for a fraction of a second.

        But I'm not spending a bunch of extra money for this to be built into my car. It's just a way for car companies to pad the bottom line.

        • I just don't see value in the satnav being built into my car. It will be older tech very quick, much more expensive to replace, and you're stuck with it.

          Which is exactly the value offered by Android and Apple car integration. Both can offer superior mapping at lower cost than an auto maker. Phones are easier and cheaper to upgrade. All the car needs to provide is a display and audio.

          Of course, if you sell a car with built in GPS you make a killing on the initial sale with the potential to do so another coup

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Phones are easier and cheaper to upgrade

            But then you'll need to upgrade your car to one that supports USB5 or wireless subspace carrier.

            My car had a cassette player from the factory. The previous owner replaced it with a CD player. I had that unit replaced with one that plays MP3s, from both USB and SD cards. Because unlike those fancy new cars, my cars has a standard double-DIN hole and ISO connector (12V plus speakers). DIN hole and 12V + speakers is a standard that lasts a long time, unlike fancy digital

          • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @08:09AM (#50401459)

            Which is exactly the value offered by Android and Apple car integration. Both can offer superior mapping at lower cost than an auto maker.

            Only in places where there is a cell phone signal. If you drive somewhere where cellular service is sketchy you'll need a "real" GPS system. Speaking for myself I go to places with iffy to no cell service often enough that the GPS in my cell phone is useless for long periods. Not to say a smartphone GPS isn't useful but it isn't without some very significant flaws.

            All the car needs to provide is a display and audio.

            What you really want is the two systems to complement each other and be more than the sum of the parts. Furthermore what if you don't have a smarphone with you? Sometimes I don't carry mine but I'd still like GPS navigation while driving. Have a "real" GPS receiver in the car but let the smarphone provide traffic, weather and location overlays. Have basic functionality built in to the car but allow the smartphone to supplement it and make it better.

            • Only in places where there is a cell phone signal. If you drive somewhere where cellular service is sketchy you'll need a "real" GPS system.

              Or you can get a $20 bluetooth GPS, and put it someplace with a good view of the sky, like under your rear parcel shelf if it's not made of metal.

            • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @08:48AM (#50401717) Homepage
              Out of curiosity have you tried out Navit [navit-project.org]? I use it on my phone when I am traveling and I don't even have a data plan. Granted it will eat battery substantially faster than other cell navigation apps as it has to actually compute and render things but that isn't a concern if it is plugged into the 12v adapter. If you download the data set [navit-project.org] for the entire planet it is about 17GB currently. The data that is used comes from OSM so depending on where you are it can be really good or still better than the base maps that come with most GPS receivers.
        • And as far as speed and fuelÂ... unless you're a race car driver I'm having a hard time believing you can't check these two things safely while driving.

          Until I bought a car with HUD, I would have agreed with you. Granted, It's a sports car and is really useful for track days, but it's really nice to not have to glance down at the instrument panel and keep your eyes on the road. I've had to swerve to miss cars on the highway that suddenly veered into my lane when when glancing at my speedometer, gas, etc. Having that extra fraction of a second to react makes it a little less scary. I think it could be a bigger distraction if there's too much information o

        • I just don't see value in the satnav being built into my car.

          I have both a portable Garmin GPS and have built in GPS in my daily drive car. Given the choice I almost always prefer a built in GPS. Why? Bunch of reasons including:
          1) While my built in unit is older it works quite competently for 99.9% of situations and I have a smartphone for the other 0.1%. My portable Garmin is great but it adds minimal to no navigation value to me unless I'm using a car that doesn't have built in GPS.
          2) No need to find a place to put the portable GPS and no need to run cords.
          3) U

          • The newer built-ins have traffic and construction built in where local services support it. Of course they still go obsolete quickly, but so does a portable. I'm not so concerned with whether my equipment "looks" obsolete. If it still has the same functionality, but the fad in window dressing has changed, I could not care less.
        • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

          I loved my TomTom until it was stolen from my car one night. Since then I just use my cell phone. I have the phone anyway, so there is no extra cost, and I always take it with me, there is no reason to leave it in the car at all.

          Plus with a service like Waze, I can report speed entrapment points to other drivers, and see others reports, plus it has on many occasions saved my time by changing my route based on traffic. It seldom tells me to deviate from my normal route, so when it does, I listen, and it usua

        • by njnnja ( 2833511 )

          It is very upsetting to see so many automakers build processing into the car, like satnav and fancy touchscreen audio. That becomes obsolete much more quickly than the mechanicals. But unlike the planned obsolescence from 50 years ago where a rusted out death trap with a leaky engine gasket isn't worth the money to fix, people can still use a car for it's primary purpose (transportation) well after the in-dash MySpace integration is obsolete.

          But I think there is a place for automaker innovation beyond mer

        • My wife's previous car had built in satnav. It was driven from a DVD. Apparently upgrading the DVD would have cost around $800 or so from GM. This for older tech built into the dash. And the display tech was pretty lame and outdated.

          Hahahahaha that's hilarious. It's only $200 to update the DVD in an Audi. GM wants $800? I guess that makes sense. They wanted a thousand dollars for a set of door handles for an Astro because they only sell complete mechanisms. I got the handles on eBay for fifty bucks. Fuck GM. Fuck them sideways. I'd buy a Ford before I'd buy a GM.

        • And more: when a better model of satnav comes out, you can upgrade to that for the price of a new satnav ($150), not the insane amount for the in-car one. For example, about 6 or 7 years ago they got a massive improvement to the GPS unit which made them work much better in cities. Well worth the upgrade. Would have been fucked if I wanted to upgrade the in-car one.

          The trouble with in-car tech is it's expensive, often badly made compated ot third party offerings and almost always amazingly badly dated, and s

        • Before I get in my 3,000 pound weapon, I look up my destination on Google maps, which is still useful (if dog-slow) in its new form.

          I want to know WAY ahead of time where I am headed.

          Too often I see driving-by-satnav drivers frankly changing lanes while they stare at their groins. Often those lane changes could be done any time in the next 3 blocks, but they will even stop several lanes of traffic to change NOW.

          Also, when you don't really know where you are going, you drive tentatively. This will drive ot

      • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

        I still like to have a tac, but I also like to have a manual clutch and gear shift as well.

        But yah, the only tech I want in the car i have....mp3 player, built in, and my phone for gps...or as my long time gamer self likes to think of it...a minimap.

        That it, I don't really even need the phone functions of my phone often.

    • I wonder how long it will be after HUDs become standard that they start putting advertisements in HUDs.
      • "Eat at Joes, 3 miles ahead on your right."

        It's pretty much guaranteed to happen. They're already looking at tech to display your texts, so an ad is going to be trivial.

    • And doesn't go out of date when Apple iOS 99.2512.53.123 is released.
    • ... but only if it is like a jet figther HUD, only relevant data like speed, fuel remaining and alerts (like "low oil")

      Normally they only show speed and maybe your next GPS direction. Some of them also show alerts like low oil or low fuel. Some of the really nice ones will also display your tach, but you only even want that on sports cars and that's the only place you can get it so that's fine.

  • WTF is that anyway ?

    • WTF is that anyway ?

      I'm guessing, because our cars don't have it, that it's a service, delivered via OnStar (or similar) that lets you contact someone to make dinner or entertainment reservations from your car. Now that I think about it, my son had it on a BMW he had (briefly).

      My wife usually does it on her cell while I drive. So I guess I do have it :-)

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:43AM (#50401037) Homepage

      Think On-Star where you say "hey, can you find me a Sushi restaurant?"

      Apparently that is an actual thing, I'm not sure.

      The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don't want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.

      These aren't features I want. They're fiddly gimmicks I'm not interested in.

      I don't want apps (I don't even know what they'd be), or things to facilitate texting. I like the idea of stereo controls on the steering wheel, but I won't want anything overly complicated.

      My current car stereo has an AUX input so I can feed it from my iPod, it has Bluetooth so it integrates with my phone ... the rest of this reads like a bunch of stuff I want no part of while I'm driving.

      And it amazes me that while we're seeing texting and driving made illegal car companies are focusing on giving you alternative ways to text .. text with one button, or voice to text. I have a better idea ... stop being distracted by texts, and focus on driving your damned car. It's still going to be distracting.

      To me this is all marketing crap. And I don't need Google or Microsoft or Apple in my dashboard, collecting analytics, and otherwise intruding on my driving. I rank all of this stuff into the big giant "DO NOT WANT" category. But for some reason the car companies are very obsessed and hell bent on adding every piece of tech to a car they can.

      One of the few cool pieces of tech I've seen in a car lately is the backup camera, because it's directly applicable to the task of driving. The rest of this is just stuff nobody cares about.

      • You answered

        "for some reason the car companies are very obsessed and hell bent on adding every piece of tech to a car they can."

        with the previous sentence

        "To me this is all marketing crap. And I don't need Google or Microsoft or Apple in my dashboard, collecting analytics..."

        If your grocery store is getting a cut of revenue enhancement by selling your data, you can but the car companies are trying to figure out how to get in on the game.

        I'm not opposed to the tech

      • One of the few cool pieces of tech I've seen in a car lately is the backup camera, because it's directly applicable to the task of driving. The rest of this is just stuff nobody cares about

        Yes, the backup camera is amazingly useful in a lot of scenarios. Probably the best new car tech since they added blinker lights to the mirrors.

        Automatic parking would be an advantage in some environments and utterly useless in others. Lots of people almost never need to parallel park.

      • I generally agree with you, but I think a 'concierge' could be helpful. I'd argue it's best placed in my phone and then give me good integration, but there you go. The use case I'm thinking of is to be able to say "get me out of this traffic" - even my GPS can't really do that very well.

        I think car makers now have a significant perception problem. They 'shot their load' (so to speak) years ago with the most horrible systems known to humanity. Now, no matter how good they make it, all previous victims will v

      • Hud's are very useful putting the info you need in your vision.

        Steering wheel controls keeps your hand where they should be.

        Adding features apps etc to a car stereo is fsking useless. Cars last a couple decades I would not want to be stuck with 1995 computer tech today. I do want a standard interface and a few components. Bluetooth works pretty well for low speed stuff in a very standardized manner. Displayport/HDMI/usb3 to run one or more screens, sure cars might have 4k in a few years but reality is d

      • by JimFive ( 1064958 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @08:53AM (#50401743)

        or voice to text

        Like this:
        Driver: Text Wife
        Car: Ready
        **Driver gets cut off by another car**
        Driver: Stupid Bitch, Stop Texting and Learn to Drive
        Car: Text Sent.

        --
        JimFive

  • by ki85squared ( 778761 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:39AM (#50401009) Homepage
    Entertainment/connectivity systems in cars are either poorly designed, proprietary/incompatible, or both. Plus, if I buy an Apple-enabled car today and upgrade to an Android device two years later, the car then needs an upgrade too. I don't know many people who upgrade their car as frequently as their phone.
  • I'm not surprised one bit by this study.

    Interfaces for in-car systems have traditionally been fucking terrible, as manufacturers scramble to cram as many funcions in as few buttons and switches as possible. This was true in the 80s with radios with built cassette players and remains true today.

    This is why we need Apple to build a car and give these morons a clue on how to design a proper user interface.

    (OT: next we need Apple to teach SAP about UIs too)
    • I have one of those in dashboard hard drives in my vehicle for mp3s. Well the stupid thing doesn't arrange by track number, meaning that I can't take a cd of mp3s and listen to it that way. Apparently the new version of the firmware does it, but if I do it at my own risk I could destroy my whole entertainment system. The dealership will do it but they will charge an entire hour of time for it.
      • Oh don't even get me started. Rather than plow through 17 CDs in an audiobook, I ripped them to mp3s and put them in folders by disk. MyFord Touch doesn't allow any sort of sorting by filename or directory tree. Thus I had to strip all metadata and rename the files to 001, 002, etc to actually get them to play in some semblance of order and EVEN THEN there were still random times where 087 would be out of order or some other bullshit.

        I don't use half the features, and the other half don't even freaking work

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      We do not need Apple for this. What we need is an interface that is porgrammable that can do all of this and do it regardless of Apple or Samsung.

      It already excists.It is a notepad. All the car company needs to do is add Bluetooth in the car and a way to place your notepad or phone or Ipad anywhere.

      The Bluetiith can connect with the car data via the obdII port. The data is already available.

      That way you just mount your device so it has power and do whatever you desire.

      And then you let the software makers fi

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      This has to be a major reason for it. My wife recent got an Acura MDX and it has the technology package. The user interface is AWFUL.

      My son and I took it to run an errand out to where we keep our boat. The highway interchange to take our usual route was closed, so we ended up off course. We pulled into a parking lot and it took me 20 minutes to get the navigation system to point to a location close enough that I could self-navigate.

      I've owned an Apple ][, four Macintoshes, built more PCs than I can coun

    • I just want one thing: A place to plug in my smartphone or tablet via HDMI, USB, and a four-pin 1/8" miniplug for audio in and out. And I want the results to be that my phone shows up on a self-hiding touch display on my dashboard. It's a moderately expensive way to handle the device mounting problem, but it's also completely future-proof and the user can install anything they like, whether it's meant to be a portable device or not.

      A manufacturer could reasonably implement this without losing money if they

  • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:45AM (#50401047)
    Cars like pc's/phones/tablets are coming bundled with bloatware so what! I think the issue is when this shit comes with your car it isn't obvious how you uninstall the crap.
    • by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @07:11AM (#50401179)

      I think the issue is when this shit comes with your car it isn't obvious how you uninstall the crap.

      Exactly. The problem is what we might call the UI bottleneck. If the vehicle has 48 features and I loathe 45 of them, I still have to fight my way through 48 confusing, often poorly identified, controls in order to use the three functions I like/want/need. If it's not a tool I use all the time I may well give up before I find the control I'm looking for. Or worse, I may turn on some incredibly annoying "feature" whose Off button is hidden behind some improbable sequence of actions identified by more or less incomprehensible icons that look like squashed grasshoppers or overturned ice-cream cones.

      • That is shockingly true. The "Source" button in my car is functionally useless. It switches between sources, but it includes everything, inputs that aren't hooked up, satellite radio stations with no subscription, and FM and AM "sources" that have no saved presets. Are you telling me that a car computer that knows there is nothing in the USB port isn't smart enough to skip that source? Why can't I disable the AM and Satellite sources if I never use them? Why the hell is there FM 1,2, and 3 on a goddamn touc

  • What I want (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:45AM (#50401049)

    An empty double-din slot in the dash so I can install my own choice of equipment. Rather than doing that, manufacturers are integrating their systems so tightly that replacing them can become a nightmare.

    • Hey, I'm sure there is a great reason why the HVAC controls need to be integrated into the radio and have components of the system put in like tetris blocks all under the dash. I'm guessing it has to do with the $2000 technology package that adds the value of a $200 double din radio.

  • Look, I understand what this survey and report is trying to say and to some extent I agree (I sure as hell don't want or need an in-car concierge), but a lot of these technologies are being pushed not with current drivers in mind but with future drivers in mind. There's a generation of drivers coming that have never known a world with dial-up internet or without cellphones. To a certain extent, I'm sure their opinion (and the way they 'interact' with their cars) will differ from ours. Now I don't know wheth
    • Except by the time someone wants it or uses it, it'll be way behind the times. I'm sure the car manufacturers were "future proofing" their cars by putting in 8 track players too.

      Make it replaceable if you want to plan for the future. My 1997 car has a better radio (not stock) that works far more reliably than my 2013 car with an integrated touchscreen infotainment system. I can also upgrade the 1997 radio again in 10 years, whereas the 2013 radio will be stuck with the same shit as long as the car lasts.

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

      You seem to be missing a rather important point - they want to sell the cars now, not in the future. And to do that, you must market to the people who are buying cars now. And for some reason I think car manufacturers would rather sell a NEW car to the 'future' generation then have the buy a used car that already has all the crap they simply can't live without.

    • Its not for the next generation of drivers, its another vector for monetization for car manufacturers. Just like smart TVs, you are not watching, you are being watched.

      The end result will be that your car tells you that you are very low on gas and must fill up immediately. At the same time it sells this information to nearby gas stations who immediately raise their prices. You driving habits will be sold to insurance companies, your destinations to restaurants and motels, etc.

  • Just wait until the marketing department of Apple produces slick ads that show cool kids using their in-vehicle tech, and finds a way for people to easily advertise their car as “Apple-powered”. As long as Apple keeps on playing the conspicuous consumption card, they'll sell. The fact people won't use it is totally irrelevant.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <(evi) (at) (evcircuits.com)> on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:55AM (#50401097) Homepage

    The main reason people don't want/use them is because they're too expensive:

    in-vehicle concierge (43%): $350/y + voice/minute + data, easily adds up to $500/y+ for a device you use maybe 1h/day. On the other hand your mobile phone with Bluetooth has the same services for free (Siri, Hey Google, Cortana, ...)
    mobile routers (38%): same problem, we already have data plans on our cell phones, if we want routers we wouldn't use our cars for it which are usually inconveniently parked for reception
    automatic parking systems (35%): besides a few specific interactions, they are useless and/or broken. They still require you to press gas/brake pedals, they don't park any faster or better than doing it yourself
    heads-up display (33%): distracting and useless information
    built-in apps (32%): distracting and useless information and the ones you do use are generally too pricey or require one of the above connective features that are too expensive

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @06:56AM (#50401099)

    The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%).

    Let's see:
    * In-vehicle concierge is generally expensive and most people have no experience using such a service and many probably don't even know their car has it.
    * Mobile routers are pretty much pointless if you have a data plan for your phone AND the car companies often charge a premium for it.
    * Automated parking systems really only do parallel parking which any competent driver can do plus many people don't really trust it yet and if it screws up the results are expensive.
    * Heads up displays are very new and on very few cars but I can see some people finding them annoying.
    * I've never seen any apps for a car that were anywhere near as competently done as those on my phone and frankly pretending a car is like a smartphone is kind of stupid. Car makers aren't really thinking through the interface here. I shouldn't be staring at a touchscreen while driving.

    Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don't want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.

    I've never seen a car with either CarPlay or Android Auto in person so I don't know if I'd like it or not. I think smartphones could be usefully integrated with vehicles but I don't think car makers have figured out the best way to do this yet.

    I'm not willing to pay a premium for concierge service so they may as well leave the electronic out if it isn't included with the vehicle. A smartphone serves roughly the same purpose and I already have one.

    Voice based texting is in my experience invariably a flawed and frustrating experience. I speak with a clear and bog standard midwestern US accent and I've NEVER found a voice recognition system that gets better than about 80% of what I say. My current car has a voice recognition system and it is nearly useless for any practical purpose. Furthermore texting while driving even through a voice system would be distracting so it can just wait until I park the vehicle.

    • Automated parking systems really only do parallel parking which any competent driver can do plus many people don't really trust it yet and if it screws up the results are expensive.

      The latest systems can park in narrow spaces for you, too, as well as pull out of them so you can get in.

      Heads up displays are very new and on very few cars but I can see some people finding them annoying.

      People just aren't familiar with them. They don't think they want them because they've never seen one, and if they have, it was from the eighties.

      I just don't want a car that pulls over when law enforcement (or a malicious hacker) pushes a button.

      • The latest systems can park in narrow spaces for you, too, as well as pull out of them so you can get in.

        I can park in any space the automated system can most likely. I can probably do it faster too. I don't really recall ever being unable to get into my car based on where it was parked. Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me.

        People just aren't familiar with them. They don't think they want them because they've never seen one, and if they have, it was from the eighties.

        Probably true though I stand by my statement that I think a LOT of people (especially older drivers) will find them irritating and/or distracting and turn them off. Someone like me might like it but I would be shocked if my parents would. My in-laws particularly are posit

        • I can park in any space the automated system can most likely. I can probably do it faster too. I don't really recall ever being unable to get into my car based on where it was parked.

          I have, but only when some fuckhead has parked his vehicle too close to mine after the fact.

  • I do have a technology, engine immobilizer, popularized in 90's. I assume that this was a selling point back then to prevent car theft.

    Reality is that currently it costs $2 to $20 to cut a key. However, the price is up to $350, or more, to program transponder in the key at the dealer.

    My car right now is 10 years old and I do not need some sort of protection for the car whose value is less than $2000. More importantly, once, immobilizer stopped recognizing native original key, which required mechanic tinkeri

  • You replace your phone or tablet (on average) every couple of years. In two years, it's obsolete. Not fast enough, not enough storage, doesn't run the lastest apps or the latest OS updates.

    You replace your car far less often -- and as cars are lasting longer and longer (remember when 100,000 miles was end of life?) one of the ways to get your car to "need replacing" is to build in technology that looks ancient in 2 years. What do you suppose the resale value of a car is that is 3 years old, has less than 40
  • I want a car, not a phone with wheels. Phones go in your pocket.
  • by cjonslashdot ( 904508 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @07:17AM (#50401203)
    I know how software is made. I know how buggy and unreliable it is. In my car, I want things that are rock solid, or that at least fail gracefully. Also, I don't want distractions, like screens changing their content, or having to fiddle with a display while I am driving. I want fixed controls that are simple and display a single thing. Also, I don't want my car second-guessing what I want - there is nothing more annoying that the car deciding, "He pushed the window button to go down, but it is cold outside so he must only want it half way down" - I want my car to do exactly what I tell it: I don't want it to try to be "smart".
  • My car came with an Alpine head unit in a double DIN slot. Out on the highway, road noise makes listening to music no fun. Although it has USB, I've given up trying to get my iPod to work reliably with it. The navigation is lame. There is a backup camera, but I haven't even been bothering with that lately. I've thought about replacing it with a better unit, but really I can't be bothered. When I'm in the car I want to drive, not fiddle with electronic gadgets.

    There's probably some kind of feature to w

  • The more complicated vehicle tech becomes, the more often I tend to want updates to fix the features that the vehicle has and to bring in new features. There is no way to get such updates. I can do it myself, in which case I may screw up my vehicle. The dealership can do it but they'll charge me $200+ for the update. I've updated the OS on my phone three times since I've had my vehicle but at least on my phone there is a procedure that I know will be safe if I follow it. Buying a feature rich vehicle i
    • by Tom ( 822 )

      I can do it myself, in which case I may screw up my vehicle.

      Which is basically saying that you can't do it yourself. Which is good. If you don't know enough about recoding a car computer, then you don't know enough to make sure your recoding doesn't break something important that only shows up when you're going 150 mph.

  • Going to lunch with my co-worker while texting him a string of profanity never gets old.

  • When narrowed to just Gen Yers

    Who is Gen Yers and why should I care what a Swedish person has to say about any of this?

  • Essential: powered steering, powered brakes, electric ignition, electric window wipers, proper lighting
    Nice to have: electric window opening/closing, electric mirrors, radio, electric pump for spraying window cleaner liquid

    I think that completes the list quite nicely. Did I forget anything? I do not think so.
    • If they could make the cars as light as they used to be while still making them better in a crash than a potato chip, you wouldn't need power steering either. Or, arguably, brakes. Just real big ones.

  • We already have most of that stuff in our phones, why would we want it built into the car too? Maybe it used to make sense back in the 1990s when the tech was big and bulky and being able to keep it in a vehicle was convenient. But that's no longer the case at all. When this stuff is available as an option, it's a very expensive option, way out of line with the functionality provided -- it's just a profit center. When it's "standard", it's used to justify the increased price of the "luxury" model.

    A dedicate

    • by Bander ( 2001 )

      s/it's own/its own/

      *hangs head in shame*

      I still can't edit posts on Slashdot?

      *shambles off grumbling*

  • Thank goodness nobody uses these things. Maybe they will watch the road instead.
    No, they are probably not using any of the cars tech because they are using their slow, clunky texting interface on their tiny 4 inch screen, taking 3 miles, 4 lanes, and 7 near-collisions to compose a 5 word sentence.
  • I have one of those cars loaded with tech. Going through the top five list from TFA:
    - concierge: came bundled free for the first 3 years, never used it so far. Not worth it in itself, but I think the bundle includes some other things I like, such as controlling various things on the car using my smartphone. We'll see at the end of the free period.
    - mobile router: don't have, don't want, smartphone hotspot ftw
    - Automatic parking system: was available, did not get the package. I'd like to feel that I am drivi

  • Who wants to configure and pay for their car to do what their phone can? What people would really like is for better ways to control their phone from the car's screen.

  • Like everyone else, I think the in-car navigation is done better by anyone else. Tom-toms, Garmins, or in my case, Waze on my phone.

    What if the in-car entertainment system had a set of APIs that could be controlled by an external device like a phone? That external device could then have a variety of different apps that could use the APIs, even set up several competing apps to take advantage of them. If car companies write off the tiny incremental income from the people who use the services, or even offset i

  • by CimmerianX ( 2478270 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @09:15AM (#50401895)

    Hell, we bought a car 8 years ago that had a push in slot for an ipod... the old ipods. Now that the new ones have the smaller plugs (old one broke after many years of use), the car's interface is useless. I see the future coming.... and I'll watch it from my 68 Camaro.

  • by fulldecent ( 598482 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @09:46AM (#50402143) Homepage

    Here is the interior of a stock 2000 Ford F-150, the most popular car model at the time.

      > https://www.adventuresindiy.co... [adventuresindiy.com]

    The only actual improvements (not necessarily F-150) since then have been:

        * Replacing "eject", "panel & floor", "lo / hi" and other words with pictographs
        * Bluetooth connectivity
        * Rear-facing cameras
        * Upright alcove above radio to place cell phone for navigation

    Everything else has been a fucking failure, distraction, or quickly obsoleted.

  • by rockmuelle ( 575982 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @09:46AM (#50402155)

    I have two cars: a '96 Jeep Cherokee and an '01 M Coupe. You know what I love about both of them? The climate control system is analog. I user a slider or knob, feel the resistance, and know the temperature will adjust. The radios are simple: a few preset (physical) buttons, a volume knob, and a tuner knob. Sure, bluetooth would be nice, but I have a cigarette lighter dongle that works just fine over FM for streaming music and taking calls (I actually still have the cigarette lighters for both cars, too).

    My wife, OTOH, has had a stream of cars with electronic climate control, complex infotainment systems, and all sorts of other bells and whistles. You know why we got rid of the last one? The climate control system kept thinking it was 20F outside and adjusted the heat accordingly. This in the summer in Texas. The automaker, despite repeated visits every summer, couldn't resolve the issue.

    Oh, and navigation? For the few times I don't know where I'm going (really, it's scary how people rely on nav systems for drives they do every day), a quick glance at Google maps on my phone orients me (usually before I get in the car).

    I'll allow some local microprocessor control for drivability and performance, but when it comes to the creature comforts and extras, I want them simple and functional. I want my car to talk to me through the engine, not the speakers.

    -Chris

  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @09:47AM (#50402159) Homepage Journal

    The main purpose of my car is to get me from point A to point B. If it has tech that relates to that without distracting me, that's fine. If it doesn't relate to that, or if it's a distraction, I don't want it.

  • Idiotic Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday August 27, 2015 @10:11AM (#50402377)

    That is easily one of the most negative and idiotic summaries I've ever seen. When you write a summary that focuses on the smaller number of people, it clearly denotes your bias. After all, most intelligent people would focus on the positive numbers. Let's see:

    -----
    The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are:
    in-vehicle concierge (43%) - that means that 57% do use it
    mobile routers (38%) - that means that 62% do use it
    automatic parking systems (35%) - that means that 65% do use it
    heads-up display (33%) - that means that 67% do use it
    and built-in apps (32%) - and 68% do use it
    -----

    In other words, in all instances, a majority of people _DO_ use the feature.

    And next:
    -----
    Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. - alternatively, it can be viewed as approximately 80% of owners want it in their next vehicle
    -----

    Focus on the smaller (to say the least) number of people with the negative stance rather than the (significantly) higher number of people who have a positive view. But, hey, those larger numbers and positive stance doesn't allow someone to paint a negative picture. After all, positive facts aren't negative.

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