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Image: Harman

J.D. Power, supplier of consumer insights, data analytics and automotive industry advisory services, is forming an alliance with Harman to share in-car data from the Harman Ignite cloud platform. This will give insight into how customers interact with their cars’ digital services and the areas or functionalities which can be improved, the companies say, as well as helping to bring desired new experiences or features to market more quickly.

The data from Harman Ignite, supplied in cooperation with vehicle manufacturers, will be anonymized and aggregated, and collected only from customers who have opted ‘in’ for its sharing.

Sanjay Dhawan, Harman’s chief technology officer and president, Harman Connected Services, said in a statement: “J.D. Power has the most thorough understanding of automotive consumer satisfaction of any company in the industry. With Harman’s connected car, software and integration expertise, we are set to realize the exciting potential of connected cars, including enhanced safety, greater performance and more immersive and personalized experiences.”

J.D. Power’s 2018 Vehicle Dependability Surveys [VDS] in the UK and Germany have highlighted a series of issues, and note that emerging or new technologies are resulting in more reported problems in premium-brand vehicles than in mainstream models. In the UK, the most common problems include pairing or connectivity issues with Bluetooth phones or other devices, and voice recognition not recognizing commands.

Josh Halliburton, J.D. Power’s head of European operations, said in a statement: “Automotive systems are more complex than they’ve ever been, and premium brands especially are incorporating autonomous driving building blocks – adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking – into their models. It’s imperative for manufacturers to address this issue in order to improve the level of consumer trust in the technology.”

Harman has also discussed more details this week of its software-driven audio technology, including directional Personalized Audio Alerts intended to play a role in information and safety warnings in autonomous modes. It notes in a blog post on its website that: "tomorrow's vehicles will understand the passenger's mood, health and also whether they're paying attention on the road", with reference to "mood-based features to redefine and personalise comfort and entertainment in the daily commute."

-Farah Alkhalisi