A recent study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates found that automakers still have a long way to go with regard to their own smartphone applications, with many users finding these apps slow to load and difficult to use.
J.D. Power recently published the findings from its 2021 U.S. OEM ICE Benchmark Study, which attempts to gauge the average level of user satisfaction with automaker smartphone apps. The study surveyed 1,000 owners who said they have used various automaker smartphone apps, asking them for feedback on a variety of performance metrics including appeal, operating speed, ease of use and content.
The survey found that many users of these smartphone apps were not impressed with their performance, with many respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the app’s loading speed. Additionally, J.D. Power says the app features most desired by owners, which include remote controls, navigation assistance, service monitoring and status/diagnostic information, are not being properly implemented by any OEMs.
The top-performing mobile apps in this study included Tesla, Volvo Cars, MyHyundai, Genesis Intelligent Assistant and MySubaru. The company says that while Tesla doesn’t manufacture gas-powered vehicles, it is included in this study “because of its technology leadership and is considered a benchmark for all automotive mobile apps.”
Frank Hanley, senior director of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power, pointed to new apps implemented by Jeep and BMW as examples of how this technology can be improved going forward.
“It’s critical that manufacturers devote proper resources to developing apps that truly meet the needs of new owners,” Hanley said. “New app offerings from Jeep and BMW, for example, show noticeable improvement by adding additional content and increase in speed. Some others, however, have issues with speed, pairing and connectivity.”
GM has dedicated apps for each of its brands, including MyBuick, MyChevrolet, MyCadillac and MyGMC. These apps allow GM vehicle owners to use their phone as a remote key fob, check their vehicle status, receive roadside assistance and more. The automaker also has separate apps for its OnStar emergency services.