Tech adoption a double-edged sword

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Tech adoption a double-edged sword

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Automakers are caught in a conundrum of whether to quickly adopt new technologies that risk increased complaints from car buyers when they don’t work as expected, according to a new J.D. Power study.

Consumers routinely punish automakers in quality ratings for car technology not meeting expectations. But consumers will credit automakers when innovations are properly executed, J.D. Power said.

Based on the results of its annual U.S. Tech Experience Index Study released Thursday, J.D. Power said ease of use is crucial for the acceptance and adoption of new automotive technologies. The survey also found auto dealers play a key role in ensuring car buyers understand and use the latest innovations.

Automakers have to be careful and should not let fear of negative consumer reactions slow innovation adoption because that would put them at a competitive disadvantage, J.D. Power said. The idea that advanced technologies always lead to significant problems is an industry misconception, the firm said.

“Effective innovators understand that new technologies can be introduced successfully with proper design and execution,” Kathleen Rizk, senior director of user experience benchmarking and technology at J.D. Power, told Automotive News.

The consumer research firm conducted its Tech Experience Index Study from February through May 2022. It collected responses from more than 84,000 owners of vehicles from the 2022 model year. The survey asked for impressions following 90 days of ownership, about problems encountered and whether buyers liked the latest technologies.

— Doug Newcomb

What you need to know

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Selika Talbott

Roundup

Toyota boosts investment in N.C. battery plant to $3.8 billion for EVs, hybrids.

Ford, Rivian urge faster permitting process for critical EV minerals.

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Bosch to invest $200 million to make fuel cell stacks in South Carolina.

Brain food

In China, automakers must be licensed to collect and track geographic data in smart vehicles.

Last mile

For National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy, the increase in U.S. car crashes is alarming and personal. In November, she was rear-ended by an SUV traveling at approximately 45 miles per hour. She discusses that crash, the skyrocketing fatality rate and more in this Q&A with Automotive News reporter Audrey LaForest.

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