Tech News 101: The 2015 DrIVE Report

The 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report from auto research firm J.D. Power and Associates found that at least 20% of new car owners have never used 16 of the 33 car technology features the study measures, with Gen Y owners being even less interested overall. 

"In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they're familiar with the device and it's accurate," says Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at J.D. Power and Associates.

Car manufacturers are now beginning to introduce new technologies designed to integrate and enhance the user experience as opposed to competing with them. 

The Ford Motor Company will use Gorilla Glass on the windshield and rear window of the sports car, making it the first company to do so. Gorilla Glass is used primarily as the cover glass for 40% of portable electronic devices, including mobile phones and portable media players used in the market.

The goal is to foster familiarity, reduce weight, which is exactly what Gorilla Glass does. The glass will make the windshield 32% lighter, which will allow for greater fuel efficiency and better handling.

The DrIVE study, which surveys new car owners in the first 90 days of ownership, found the 5 features that those surveyed most commonly report never using are:

  • an in-vehicle concierge (43%)
  • mobile routers (38%)
  • automatic parking systems (35%)
  • head-up display (33%)
  • built-in car apps (32%).

The reasons most owners cited for not wanting a specific technology were that the owners did not find it useful or that it "came as a package on my current vehicle and I did not want it."

The types of technology that most owners want to have are features that enhance the driving experience and safety but are built in to the car rather than as an external device. Technologies that car owners are the least interested in are diagnostics into the car's health, blind-spot warning and detection systems, and adaptive cruise controls.

With Google and Ford partnering to build autonomous vehicles, the push for creating technologies that appease a wider market will continue to be a big part of automotive innovations.