WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA: (WWJ) A new study from JD Power shows that customers are paying for a lot of in car technology that they never use.

“In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “In-vehicle connectivity technology that’s not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers.”

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment?

The JD Power Drive study–for Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience– found that at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. Concierge services, were tops, with 43 percent of owners saying they didn’t use them. It was followed closely by wireless hot spots, automated parking systems, and built in apps.

Major car companies have opened offices in Silicon Valley, and poured billions of dollars into research on automated driving systems and connectivity efforts, in an attempt to attract younger tech-savvy buyers.

Kolodge, however, says many of those tech savvy buyers prefer their own technology to systems that are built into the vehicles.

But, she doesn’t disagree that technology can be used to make carmakers stand out from the competition.

“It’s not just technology for technology sake,” she said. “It’s having the appropriate technology. Technology that’s going to add value.”

Car companies are constantly re-evaluating the technology they put into vehicles. Ford has upgraded its “Sync” system several times. General Motors 4G connectivity can be used as more than a wireless hotspot. It can also allow remote diagnosis of problems and even software upgrades.

READ MORE: Unemployment In Michigan: 30,816 New Jobless Claims Filed Last Week

Customers often don’t realize what technology is involved in certain packages of extras they buy with a vehicle. Heated seats and steering wheels, for example, could be bundled with navigation systems or a self parking system.

Another problem, according to the JD Power report, is that dealers don’t always adequately describe the technology or its benefits.

“The first 30 days are critical. That first-time experience with the technology is the make-it-or-break-it stage,” said Kolodge. “Automakers need to get it right the first time, or owners will simply use their own mobile device instead of the in-vehicle technology.”

Many analyst have been expecting Apple’s Car Play system and its competitor, Android Auto, to revolutionize in car connectivity, by making the car screen similar to the smart phone screen.

Kolodge says the JD Power study showed a large number of people–20 per cent–are not interested in that new technology.

“We’ll be anxiously looking at these consumer experiences, as the technology becomes more and more prevalent, to see if its meeting the level of satisfaction. We’re seeing this level of apprehension coming across from multiple data sources.”

MORE NEWS: If Kids Are Able To Get COVID Vaccine, Health Department May Re-Evaluate Michigan’s Re-Opening Plan

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles
Twitter: @jefferygilbert