J.D. Power finds voice assistants are becoming important for new car buyers

What do people look for when they’re shopping for a new car? Safety, fuel efficiency and … voice assistants? According to a recent study conducted by J.D. Power, car buyers are taking an increased interest in having the virtual assistant they are familiar with using in their home and on their phone also present while they are on the road.

According to J.D. Power, voice assistants remain one of the top complaints for drivers. In-car systems seem to lack support for popular voice assistants, and the systems that do offer access to the A.I. have limited skills. That’s a disappointment for many drivers who would love to be able to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Being able to do things like change the song, take a call, or dictate a text through a voice assistant should ideally make driving much safer.

There is already plenty of demand for voice assistants in cars, and most people want to interact with the assistant that they are already accustomed to. According to J.D. Power, 76 percent of respondents said they want the same brand of voice assistant in their next vehicle as they have in their home. That should allow preferences, settings, and commands to be universal no matter if you’re sitting in the living room or heading out on the road.

The presence of a voice assistant could even help influence a person’s next purchase. Nearly six in 10 respondents said they are more likely to buy a car from a certain company if the vehicle has the same voice service that they use at home. Those figures increased significantly for Generation Y and Generation Z respondents, which saw nearly 80 percent willing to give preference to a car with their favorite voice assistant.

Those findings from J.D. Power should be more than enough motivation for car manufacturers to integrate voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri into their systems at every opportunity. The companies behind those voice assistants already have offerings to try to get services into cars, including Amazon’s Echo Auto, Google’s Android Auto, and Apple’s CarPlay.

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