“Open the Pod Door, Hal.” “I Don’t Understand You, Dave”

According to a recent study by J.D.

According to a recent study by J.D. Power—its 2014 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study—52% of the new-vehicle owners surveyed between February and May 2014 use an Apple iPhone OS. Chances are good that with the forthcoming announcement from Apple about a new phone that number will be even higher the next time out.


As for Android, 41%.

What’s interesting about this study of the audio, communication, entertainment, and navigation (ACEN) systems in cars is that people are not particularly happy with the systems that automakers have integrated.

Especially problematic is the voice-recognition system often touted.

Last year, they measured 7.6 problems per 100 vehicles related to voice-recognition.

This year, they measured 8.3 problems per 100 vehicles.

According to J.D. Power, the in-vehicle systems primary problems, as reported, are:

· Doesn’t recognize/misinterprets verbal commands (63%)

· Doesn’t recognize/misinterprets names/words (44%)

· Doesn’t recognize/misinterprets numbers (31%)

Said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power, “Voice recognition and device connectivity are often inherent to the technology design and cannot be fixed at the dealership, creating a high level of angst among new-vehicle owners.”


That’s not a word often associated with a brand-new car.

Automakers are good (well, as J.D. Power IQS surveys show, in varying levels of goodness) at making cars and trucks. They are not as good when it comes to ACEN systems.

Which is probably why companies like Apple, with CarPlay, and Google, with the Open Automotive Alliance, are getting into the game.