J.D. Power and Associates is supremely interested in multimedia systems these days. In fact, in now incorporates audio, communication, entertainment, and navigation (ACEN) into its initial quality study. If an automaker wants one of J.D. Power’s tombstone-shaped awards, it now has to ensure its multimedia equipment isn’t vexing to consumers. Unfortunately, ACEN has proven the most problematic category for new vehicle owners since its addition to the annual survey three years ago.
The research and marketing firm recently decided to break out its ACEN scores to see which vehicles had the best infotainment systems. However, in this instance, what constitutes superior hardware is simply a lack of customer complaints. For J.D. Power, multimedia system quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles over the first 90 days of ownership.
Since potential problems include everything from technical failures and overall features to how well the system was explained by the dealer and plain general satisfaction, decoding what makes a particular system truly bad is difficult. But a lower frequency of complains always means a better product. Which models shined the brightest?
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FreedMikeBack in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
FlowerploughLiability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
FreedMikeIt's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
TitaniumZOf course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.