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Tesla, Genesis top research on technical experience in vehicles

Tesla, Genesis top research on technical experience in vehicles

Tesla was the highest-scoring brand in JD Power’s 2022 US Tech Experience Index Study, which evaluates advanced technical features in new cars.

The study ranks brands by problems per 100 vehicles, the same measure used in JD Power’s annual Initial Quality Study, which is considered an industry benchmark. Tesla achieved the highest score in the history of the survey for the first time: 681 points out of a possible 1,000.

However, Tesla’s score is considered unofficial, as it doesn’t allow JD Power to access owner information in the states where that permission is required by law, meaning it doesn’t meet the full criteria for granting. Polestar wasn’t officially ranked either, but his 608 point score would have put him near the top.

2023 Polestar 2

“The disruption from high-tech entrants like Tesla and Polestar further accentuates the need for innovation,” said a JD Power press release. “It’s also essential because new vehicle technology is a major reason for purchase.”

The results polish Tesla’s image as a high-tech innovator. The Tesla Model 3 (and by extension the Model Y that followed) was seen as a technology leader at launch – not only in battery and propulsion technology, but also in user interfaces. More recently, Tesla has tried to hold onto that image with increasingly weird features like steering yokes and touchscreen shifters on the Model S and Model X.

Genesis, which offers a fingerprint reader on its GV60, performed at the top of officially ranked brands, although that feature was generally noted as the most problematic in the history of the investigation. Perhaps that’s because Genesis also offers a phone-based digital key feature, which scored highly in both desirability and performance in the survey.

Genesis GV60 prototype

Genesis GV60 prototype

This shows that new technical functions have to be performed correctly to be worthwhile. JD Power recently found that while EV powertrains aren’t a problem, all the other technology that automakers often put into EVs is.

But, as JD Power noted in this study, technical features are also part of its appeal here, and one facet of the strong consumer interest in EVs noted in another recent study from the organization. So it’s a balancing act for automakers between providing more technology without tormenting customers with the EV experience.