Half Of You Aren’t Even Using The In-Car Tech You’re Buying

Cadillac’s Super Cruise

Cadillac’s Super Cruise
Image: Cadillac

You might want to start looking over those option packages. A study by J.D. Power found that, while cars are more tech-laden than they’ve ever been, most people aren’t even using half of the stuff that’s available in them.


The ​​2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study found that in the first three months of ownership, less than half of new car owners used the tech in their vehicles. Over 60 percent of owners have yet to use any vehicle technology at all. Things like digital marketplaces, which allow owners to do things like order food and items from stores for curbside pickup, aren’t even wanted.

For example, 61% of owners say they have never used the in-vehicle digital market technology, and 51% of those saying they have no need for it. Owners feel similarly about the driver/passenger communication technology, with 52% saying they have never used the technology, and 40% of those saying they have no need for it.

Simply put, the tech is cool to have, but buyers don’t care to use it. So what tech are people actually using? Unsurprisingly, they use things like cameras and driver assist systems. The study also found that tech that leaves a good impression on drivers influences their buying decisions on their next vehicle. Automakers pretty much need to equip vehicles with things customers want and not the things that they don’t.

J.D. Power has a wealth of transactional data showing that automakers suffer a hit to profits and sales velocity if they build the wrong mix of features on their vehicles,” Kolodge said. “The TXI research quantifies the benefits when there is alignment between what owners truly want and what the automakers produce.

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Unfortunately, all this would seem to side with subscription-based features and the thinking automakers have to justify them. People don’t want tech they don’t use, so why pay for it?

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