Survey Says: Worthless vs. Useful Vehicle Technology

Scenery - Street from Ground Level

Are you the kind of person who has an iPhone, but who’s never tried working with Siri? Maybe you’re also the type to drive a snazzy new connected car, but who will leave the technology idle.

Despite the fact that many of us are regulating our home temperature with Nest, or hopping around town in Uber, for some reason, lots of people are leaving whiz-bang technology unused in their vehicles. What are they doing, concentrating on driving or something? These connected cars offer lots of features, but they come at a cost, so if you’re new-car shopping, you’ll want to vow to use the tech, at risk of having wasted the money on an unused option.

As Auto Connected Car News explains, JD Power’s Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report surveyed 4,200 vehicle owners to figure out what drivers loved and what they didn’t use (or maybe even didn’t know existed).


20% of drivers have never used about half of their vehicles’ available technology

Technology Drivers Dislike and/or Don’t Use

  • In-vehicle Concierge (like Siri for your car)
  • In-vehicle Voice Texting 
  • 35% never use Automatic Parking Systems

Technology Drivers Like and Want

  • Vehicle Health Diagnostics, which would tell drivers how their vehicles are feeling and when it’s time to head to the auto-repair shop. The good news: this feature doesn’t need to be built into your vehicle. An app like OpenbayConnect won’t just tell you what’s wrong with your vehicle – it’ll tell you who, in your neighborhood, can fix it and at what price. Problem + solution = winning.
  • Blind Spot Detection, which can also very easily be done manually. We aren’t sure it’s worth the nearly $1,000 it would add if you drove a new Volvo. Yikes!
  • Adaptive Cruise Control, which uses radar-based technology to adjust your vehicle’s speed based on the vehicle (or object) in front of you. We’ve used this feature at length, and while it provides lots of fun “Look, Ma – no feet!” bragging, we’re drivers at heart and prefer to control vehicle speed ourselves. We’re not aware of a techy aftermarket alternative to the manufacturer’s offering here, so in our estimation, if you want this, you should seek a vehicle that’s had this installed as an option.
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Roughly one third of drivers never use their Heads-Up Displays or their Automatic Parking Systems.

What are some of the best overall vehicle options (tech and non-tech) to select? We’d vote for the following:

  • Sunroof: even if you don’t pop the top, a sunroof will add to the residual value of your vehicle when it’s time to trade-in.
  • Electronic Stability Protection/Control: this is now standard in many vehicles, and if you’re shopping for a new car, you should confirm yours has this. When the vehicle senses a loss of control, ESP (or ESC, depending on the manufacturer) will control braking to individual wheels, greatly reducing your risk of a skid, a flip or a collision.
  • Good Sound System: well, this is just our vote, but when we’re not focusing on car repair, we enjoy the journey, and the right tunes are a key part of that. Whenever you test drive a vehicle, bring your favorite music and be sure it sounds good. If not, it may be worth getting a better sound system, or seeking a car known for a good standard sound system.

All option-and-tech talk aside, when it’s time to repair and maintain your vehicle, do it with the Openbay app. Compare, choose, book and pay for auto repair with Openbay. It’s auto repair made simple, so you can get back on the road and just enjoy the ride, whether you decide to bring Siri on your journey or not. (And the best part of all? It’s free.)

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