Navigation systems not satisfying in 2012
The recently published J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study showed that consumer satisfaction in car navigation systems decreased in 2012 on a year-over-year comparison, as the industry sees increased competition from mobile applications offering navigation services.
Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates said manufacturers of these systems face a serious challenge going forward as smartphone usage sees increases in usage among vehicle owners. He added that the a familiar interface and free apps have encouraged many to shift to smartphones for their navigation services.
The challenge is for automakers to improve their current platforms by adapting to the new trend by implementing smartphones in innovative ways. Currently, consumer expectations of navigation services have not been met, as a seamless system between either navigation systems or automakers has not been made to include smart phones.
"We're seeing a demand from owners for connectivity with not only other in-vehicle systems, but also their own equipment and smartphone," VanNieuwkuyk added. "Navigation systems are no longer viewed as a stand-alone component, but as part of a media, safety and infotainment package, and are expected to seamlessly work together, but in many cases are falling short of owner expectations."
According to the report, auto owners downloaded mobile technology 47 percent of the time in 2012 when it came to their navigation services, up 10 percent from 2011.
Consumer satisfaction in navigation systems dropped across all areas measured in the survey, including routing, screen accessibility, speed of the system, voice directions and voice activation. Navigation user satisfaction was 681 in 2012, on a 1,000 point scale, down from 694 in 2011.
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Automakers receiving recognition for technology
While there is much expectation for mobile offering in vehicles in the new year, the auto industry is celebrating past technology advances. Green Car Journal's Green Car Technology Award will be given out at the Washington Auto Show on January 31.
Ten nominations have already been given out but only one technology can win. The winner will be named based on its ability to create a new generation in fuel efficiency, alternative fuel or low emissions. Due to the auto show's location, Robert Fogarty said that these technologies not only help the community but could also influence governmental policy decisions.