"Automotive manufacturers really need to go back to the basics and design these systems so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road, and their mind on the drive," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, Executive Director of Global Automotive at J.D. Power.

J.D. Power loud and clear about voice recognition technology's flaws

Built-in voice recognition surpasses wind noise as the problem most frequently reported by new-vehicle owners, according to J.D. Power. The J.D. Power 2014 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study released Aug. 28 notes that the number of new-vehicle owners complaining about voice recognition is larger than it was in last year's study, with 8.3 problems reported per 100 new vehicles in 2014; the figure was 7.6 in 2013. The voice-recognition problems customers cite most often relate to three built-in hands-free communication issues:

Doesn't recognize/misinterprets verbal commands (63%)

Doesn't recognize/misinterprets names/words (44%)

Doesn't recognize/misinterprets numbers (31%)

"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," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, Executive Director of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. "Problems such as wind noise can sometimes be adjusted at the dealership. With voice-recognition and connectivity problems, owners have had to learn to live with the shortcomings of this feature and instead rely on such work-around options as knobs and controls on the steering wheel and head unit to offset the core problem. Despite having alternative controls, this problem still negatively impacts owner satisfaction."

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