In-car voice recognition technology is so terrible that carmakers should be starting again from a ‘clean sheet’, according to J.D. Power.
The consumer group’s Executive Director of driver interactions, Kristin Kolodge, said while carmakers seemed committed to adding more features to existing units, customers would prefer they concentrated on the basics.
J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study in the US found voice recognition was the most commonly reported fault, with 23 percent of all car problems from respondents relating to audio, communication, navigation systems and infotainment.
“Any way you slice it, that’s a failing grade,” Ms Kolodge said, speaking with industry paper Automotive News at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars.
“Only one of the motorists we talked to wanted more features - the majority just wanted their systems to work.”
Ms Kolodge acknowledged in-car systems faced challenges from road, wind and tyre noise, saying that a smartphone’s voice recognition usually didn’t face such obstacles.
The Director added most consumers would not accept such a high rate of failure from other components in their cars, yet buyers had somehow given up on voice-recognition.
“Somehow it’s acceptable for voice recognition [to fail], and it’s been acceptable for years. We’ve got to get back to the basics,” Ms Kolodge said.
Carmakers may have to rely on the likes of Google’s Android Auto, the Apple CarPlay system and Windows In The Car, with each of the major smartphone platforms working on improving the in-car infotainment experience.