While some research shows a decline in the user-friendliness of autonomous, ADAS and HMI features, the user experiences of ten models were deemed winners by Wards.
Stagnant Popularity of Autonomous, ADAS & HMI
According to the report “Consumer Interest in Advanced Safety Features Cools in Europe and US,” from Strategy Analytics, consumer interest in a variety of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has fallen from 2015, though willingness to pay for certain systems like blind spot detection remains strong at low price points.
Derek Viita, senior analyst and report author, commented that although advanced safety systems are spreading into more models, and media coverage of self-driving systems is becoming more widespread, “general consumer interest in many ADAS features has hit a roadblock. Media stories of consumers complaining about (and even deactivating) features such as lane departure warning are clearly having a negative impact.”
Chris Schreiner, director of IVX, added, “Our research on autonomous parking and driving systems shows that these features are riddled with poor HMI and in some cases add minimal value for the driver. The decrease in consumer interest for these features suggests that the word is getting out, and early implementations of these features are not meeting consumer expectations.”
WARDS UX Winners
Wards on the other hand has named the ten best user experiences for 2016. The evaluation drills deeply into the user-friendliness of vehicle systems designed to engage occupants while minimizing distraction and frustration, preventing accidents and improving safety in neighborhoods and on the highway.
- Audi Q7 (sticker price $72,875, as tested).
- BMW 7-Series ($128,445).
- Chrysler Pacifica ($48,455).
- Ford Escape ($35,370).
- GMC Acadia ($52,285).
- Honda Ridgeline ($42,270)
- Hyundai Elantra ($27,710)
- Infiniti Q50 ($57,475).
- Lexus RX ($56,845)
- Mercedes E-Class ($72,995)
WardsAuto editors tested 29 new model vehicles during their daily commutes and evaluated numerous features including human-machine interface design, connectivity, infotainment, controls and advanced driver-assist technologies – in addition to overall value.
Testers paid close attention to touchscreens, navigation systems and infotainment. They tested to see if voice controls work well and if connecting your smartphone is simple. They were trying to quantify how easy it is overall to interact with a vehicle. Are controls easy to understand, or do you have to consult the owner’s manual? Are the driver-assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping, functioning reliably, and do the interior materials enhance the user experience?
The WardsAuto UX Conference will include a special ceremony. The WardsAuto team calls representatives of the winning automakers to the stage to accept their honors. Following the tradition of Wards 10 Best Engines and Wards 10 Best Interiors, the automotive OEMs are expected to send their user experience leaders to pick up the trophies on behalf of their design teams.