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Hu Yumo
J.D. Power China study of what motorists want in their vehicles says automakers must take user-related factors into account when carrying out technological innovation.
Hu Yumo

Automakers must take user-related factors into account when carrying out technological innovation, according to an industry study released by J.D. Power China on Thursday.

These include in what context owners would use the features, whether they are easy to understand and use as well as whether they are reliable. Together, these factors can help determine whether vehicle owners will pay for the advanced technology features and ultimately determine the success or failure of automakers’ innovation initiatives.

"Intelligent and connected vehicles is the direction of the strategic transformation for both the global and China automotive industries,” said Eileen Ren, vice president of J.D. Power China’s new-energy vehicle and smart vehicle practice. “The degree of intellectualization of vehicles will determine whether the brands may gain competitive advantages in the future.”

The study found that 45 percent of owners said they never used certain technical features because they did not need them — the three cited most often being mobile office service (71 percent); safe exit assist (53 percent) and dynamic driving assistance (47 percent). Among owners who would like to use advanced features, many said the main reasons for not doing to were that they didn’t know how or needed more training. 

Reversing assistance was the most often used and satisfying of the top three installed features. The top three advanced technology features with the highest installation rate in the China market are intelligent voice assistant (29 percent); reversing assistant (22 percent) and active lane change assist (13 percent).

Among the top 10 features that owners indicate they are most likely to install in their next vehicle, seven are for ADAS (Active Driving Assistance Systems) and automated features, among which the three most often considered are: OEM-installed trip recorder or dash camera (37 percent); reversing assistant (35 percent) and rear cross traffic warning (30 percent).

The J.D. Power China Tech Experience Index Study focuses on vehicle owner perceptions of 26 advanced technologies when they are first introduced to the market. The index combines the level of adoption of new technologies for each brand with their excellence in execution. The execution measurement examines how much owners like the technologies and how many problems they experience while using them.

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