have car manufacturers gone too far?


While electronics and active safety systems (trajectory correction, emergency braking, proximity alerts, etc.) are becoming increasingly important in our cars, and manufacturers are moving towards ever smarter and more autonomous vehicles, the motorist seems to show some form of weariness.

The US firm JDPower, specialized in transport and mobility, conducted a survey of 16,400 motorists, asking them for their opinion on embedded security systems. The result is surprising. While, moreover, the motorist himself requires more and more security in his car, 23% of the users questioned consider that the current systems become an embarrassment and even a source of distraction.

Better (or worse): 61% of these embarrassed users admit that they disable them to avoid being distracted by audible and visual signals, emergency braking and trajectory changes generated by their vehicle. "If you listen to them," says Kristine Kolodge, head of the study, "they tell us that they feel like they have a hysterical father or mother next to them, who always makes disparaging remarks about them. Obviously, when you drive, you do not want to be constantly disturbed by someone who will tell you that you are not driving well.

An obstacle on the road to autonomy?

In total, only 21% of the surveyed drivers consider these systems useful and not very disturbing, without real distinction of generation or significant clientele. The manufacturers can thus feed real questions on this subject, so much these systems take an increasing place in the actual design of the current automobiles, and that they constitute for many a real added value and a sales argument.

"If the driver starts to be bothered by the security systems of his car, how will he accept the concept of autonomous vehicle?" Asks Kristine Kolodge. "It could even be a very negative signal as all the world's builders are investing huge amounts of money in. The phenomenon is clearly to be watched," she says.

Towards a more reasoned connectivity

Another lesson from the survey, builders may have to also think about their priorities in terms of connectivity. It has exploded in recent vehicles, thanks to the implementation of Android Auto and Apple Car Play systems. So much so that many manufacturers have decided to stop developing multimedia systems and "home" navigation. Which means that without a phone connection, more GPS or other entertainment features.

And this is a real lack for a very large majority of users interviewed by JDPower, visibly reluctant to systematically connect their phone to their car. And, as oddly as it may seem, including those with Google or Apple systems. The latter 68% still claim an embedded system in their own car, a proportion that rises to 72% among motorists without these systems.

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