As connected capability grows, automakers are investing significant resources in developing mobile apps for their vehicles. Despite a considerable effort, many apps are falling short of automakers' hype. In the interconnected world of smartphone apps, the negative consequences of not delivering what's promised can be profound, especially if the app is linked to features related to connectivity, mobility, electrification and automated driving.
We know that, at the industry level, lack of functionality is a primary concern of vehicle owners, making automotive mobile apps less valuable from a utility perspective and potentially not worth a subscription cost. Several apps offer very little remote status information, such as fuel level or driving range. This is information consumers would find useful: 46 percent of consumers surveyed indicated they would like access to this functionality at least once a week.
Performance also was an issue, particularly the time required to complete an action. For example, remotely locking and unlocking some vehicle doors took more time to control through the app than by using an alternative method such as a key fob. According to those surveyed, 88 percent indicated they expect an automaker app to complete a task within 10 seconds. In reality, many apps take much longer.
The time to send a notification that a task has been completed isn't much better. For example, one app may take 15 seconds to unlock the doors but 3 minutes to send a notification that the task was completed, while another brand's app might take 95 seconds to confirm the doors were unlocked. These examples stand in contrast to customer expectations — more than 82 percent expect feedback within 10 seconds. Even more striking, nearly half of consumers (49 percent) expect a status notification on the executed task within 5 seconds, yet only one brand achieved that benchmark.