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Connected Cars: A Moving Target

Here are some concepts discovered at the 2015 Connected Car Expo, held in conjunction with the L.A. Auto Show’s press preview days:

  • The definition of a connected car is still a moving target. Buyers suggest that safety features (blind spot, collision avoidance, etc.) are the most important, with entertainment appearing further down on the list.
  • J. D. Power research presented at the CCE suggests owners, when presented with a complex telematics/connected car system that works perfectly as-designed, will think a quality problem exists when the system does not work as the owner expects. A new vehicle requires nearly 100 million lines of computer code to operate. Add the code for optional telematics systems and complexity multiplies exponentially. Also add to that the physical and cognitive factors of distraction, and one can see that there is still more refinement necessary before those systems are as easy to use as traditional volume and tuning radio knobs.
  • The research also suggests that owners of complex connected car systems, because they may not fully understand how the systems operate, don’t trust them completely. That presents an opportunity for the dealer (or some other agent) to build trust by taking time to work with the owner.