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Drivers are fed up with voice commands but rave about these in-car technologies

Matthew Busch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Automakers are piling the latest technologies into their vehicles — but not all of these solutions are delivering on their promise to make driving easier.

According to JD Power's first survey gauging customer satisfaction on automotive technology, new vehicle owners reported that their in-car infotainment systems do not perform consistently.

The shortcomings can be pinned on several factors. For example, voice recognition systems may not accurately translate what a driver is saying because of wind or road noise in vehicles, said Kristin Kolodge, an executive director at JD Power.

The survey polled more than 17,000 new vehicle owners.

"Whether you're imputing an address into your navigation system or whether you are using in vehicle voice texting, these elements are where consumers are struggling," Kolodge said.

JD Power found much greater satisfaction with technology that is used to keep drivers and passengers safe. Two features in particular — back-up cameras and blind spot warning systems — received strong marks from new vehicle buyers. The findings indicate drivers are becoming more comfortable with vehicles doing more of the driving, Kolodge said.

"The fact they (consumers) have a positive first experience is really important to staying on that trajectory towards automated driving," she said.

JD Power also rated a group of 77 sedans in seven car categories. The big winners were Hyundai and Kia, which had three models rank as the highest in their categories.

They include the Hyundai Genesis, which beat the Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz GLE to be named the top midsize premium sedan. JD Power declined to break out which models ranked at the bottom of the list.

"In terms of comparative performance to the rest of the industry they are definitely going in the right direction with hitting that voice recognition," Kolodge said. "We (also) saw a strong performance from their dealership body. The role of the dealer being able to explain that technology has a positive impact towards the understanding and first experience by these new owners."

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