Auto Revolution 2019


Dave Sargent of J.D. Power on The Critical Role of Trust in Harnessing the Full Potential of the Voice of the Vehicle

Dave Sargent

Vice President Of Global Automotive

J.D. Power

DATELINE -- #AUTOREV2019 -- While the emergence of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and next generation cloud computing technologies are creating new opportunities to capture deep insights into the driving and vehicle ownership experience, the automotive industry must take care to ensure consumers have a high level of comfort and trust in Voice of the Vehicle (VOV) initiatives, says Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive for J.D. Power, in an interview prepared for the upcoming J.D. Power Auto Revolution event in Las Vegas on October 23-24.

“For the past 50 years the industry has largely focused on Voice of the Customer (VOC) surveys to capture insight into what people like and dislike about their ownership and driving experience. With the rise of IoT and the cloud, we now have an opportunity to capture insights directly from data generated by the vehicle in near real time,” says Sargent.

By tapping into the growing array of sensors and machine-to-machine communications that are taking place in today’s increasingly sophisticated vehicle market, and creating cloud-based repositories that capture the behavior and interactions of different systems with drivers, the entire automotive ecosystem will be able to better design and deploy features that are more consumer-friendly.

However, moving forward with harvesting these insights will require careful attention and engagement with consumers.

“They have to be assured that the information gathered will benefit drivers and owners, and not be abused or used against them,” Sargent says.

“We must let consumers know how VOV insights will allow us to address issues that we didn't even know to ask about in the past. We must show that it will enable the industry to rapidly make changes that will be appreciated by automobile consumers. For this reason, consumer awareness, engagement and consent will be critical,” he says.

Voice of the Vehicle’s Potential

Although still in its nascent stages, the granularity of data and metrics generated by VOV applications will affect the automotive industry in several different ways.

“It will help automakers redesign features that are more aligned with human behavior once in the driver’s seat. We know, for instance, that consumers often have a lot of frustrations with navigation systems, with voice recognition systems, with pairing their phones.

“While we can -- and will continue to -- ask consumers questions around what's causing these frustrations, the insights will be much more meaningful when we can map that consumer perspective to an understanding of actual behavior -- what buttons they press, in what order, and how many times they try to accomplish an outcome before abandoning the effort,” explains Sargent.

Most, if not all, of the insights can be gathered and aggregated anonymously.

“We don't really need to know who the specific consumers are to gain insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with delivering a better automotive customer experience. Just like our VOC surveys, the VOV projects J.D. Power is bringing to market are anonymous. The data is never tied back to them as individuals. We just need to see how the vehicle is responding to different inputs,” he says.

As VOV becomes a more important data point for understanding the constantly evolving automotive customer experience, it will be critical for the industry to reach a consensus on how best to govern projects and vehicle engagements.

“This will be among the topics that we will explore at the J.D. Power Auto Revolution event in Las Vegas on October 23-24. I look forward to engaging with key members of the automotive industry to explore the options, the opportunities and the best way forward in harnessing the full power of VOV,” Sargent concludes.

Listen to the full podcast interview with Dave Sargent on how the “Voice of the Vehicle” will provide insights for the automotive industry on improved customer experience.

Join Dave at Auto Revolution 2019 in Las Vegas on October 23-24 to continue the conversation on how “Voice of the Vehicle” data will help manufacturers innovate in the areas of customer and driver experience.