The rise of the connected vehicle has ignited imaginations and set innovators scrambling to take the lead in user experience. The rise of the sharing economy, electrification, digital lifestyle expectations and the prospect of autonomous driving have all emerged as megatrends that will dictate the desires of tomorrow’s consumer.
A slew of neologisms already describe various customer types and their prospective interests and expectations — Family 2.0, Neo-City, Greenomics, New Luxury. These mindsets will influence what the customer wants in a car, how they behave in it, and what they expect from it — not to mention how different kinds of data will be collected and how the customer will benefit from it.
So what can we expect in the way of user experience in the cars of the future?
How a connected solution can benefit the environment
Let’s take the example of a “Greenovator” — a customer type focused on resource conservation. They’re looking for new, innovative solutions, and working on a healthy, platform-oriented lifestyle. Therefore, mobility solutions should be ecologically correct. However, even when the focus is on ecology, connectivity is still the key.
Consider a concept based on an in-car infotainment system, where the user has direct access to their smartphone, which in turn can view the full contents of the user’s refrigerator. From that fridge inventory, a digital assistant can intuitively recommend dinner recipes based not only on each item in the fridge, but also on location and the day of the week (Is Friday usually fish day? Do they always have Italian on Wednesdays?). If they’re missing an ingredient for their recipe, the car can alert them when they’re on their way home and near a store that carries it. Not to mention, they can also get instant info about where the food comes from, i.e. how it was sourced. These factors are important to this type of customer.
But it goes beyond just personal preference. When your car knows you, it can react to you — and even help protect you. An example: Let’s say you suffer from pollen allergies. You’re on a road trip, and the in-car info system reads the GPS and lets you know that you’re coming up on a poplar grove. Knowing your condition, the car immediately gives you a couple of options — it can offer to close the windows and seal the car, or it can devise a detour and avoid the pollen cloud.
As we can see, a treasure trove of data is available to collect. Only by analyzing the data and seeing how it all interconnects, can we come up with completely new and innovative solutions and use cases —ones that will ultimately benefit the driver according to their individual needs and interests.