Germany’s “Big Three” automakers, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, are leaders in connected car features and user friendly experience, according to a new study that looks at the usage of connectivity in cars.
Market research firm TNS and BearingPoint Institute came to this conclusion after conducting a study of 3,700 connected car owners in seven European countries.
While German automakers hold the lead, 39 percent of connected cars drivers don’t actually know about the features, with people over the age of 40 more likely to not know if the car has connectivity features.
“Our study shows that the German premium OEMs are so far leading the way in terms of the quality and use-ability of their features,” Sarah-Jayne Williams, a partner at BearingPoint, said in the press release. “To really exploit this new era, all OEMs need to invest to ensure customers are aware of and are enjoying these connected features.”
The blame could also be put on car dealerships, 39 percent of connected car drivers surveyed said the features were not demonstrated to them.
Connected car experience still has some ways to go?
The study also asked drivers what the main benefits of a connected car are. The results show that safety, navigation, and infotainment are the three most popular answers, though most drivers found the user experience lacking compared to smartphones and computers.
TNS recommends that automakers build more excitement for connected features, ensure that partners have trained staff to show off the features, and measure user experience to make the product even better in the future.
That might be a hard problem to solve, due to the lack of interest from customers on connected car features in general. Only 32 percent of people surveyed said it was an important reason to purchase a car, but that might rise as features like self-parking and autonomous highway driving are added to all cars.