As smart devices permeate every aspect of modern life, drivers have come to expect similar sophistication in their vehicles.Christopher Dyer, Freddie Holmes, Jack Hansley
Whether companies are working on connected, autonomous, shared, or electric (CASE) mobility solutions, all products and services have one basic requirement. It’s about working for the consumer. Whether in a self-driving car, charging an electric vehicle (EV), or inside an infotainment unit, the inability to create an enjoyable and effective user experience (UX) not only discourages may jeopardize the
Enable a customized and personal experience
“Automotive UX” encompasses a wide range of systems and experiences, most of which are related to connectivity development. The automotive industry has passed the era of vehicle sales being the only source of income. As the car itself becomes a smart device, various add-ons can be enabled throughout its lifespan, effectively monetizing previously dormant car parts.
Automakers are taking cues from the consumer electronics sector, but are still figuring out how to package, advertise and sell these subscriptions. For example, it’s unclear whether the vehicle itself will serve as the payment interface, or whether a traditional web browser will be used to purchase services. With the cockpit becoming a digital nest filled with various touchscreens, there are plenty of opportunities to encourage impulse buying. Even digital assistants in cars (that can be summoned by voice control) could serve as a means of payment for new services. Biometrics is another avenue that has been explored in recent years, but has yet to find a real foothold in the automobile. Fingerprint readers and eye scanners are unlikely payment instruments, but cannot be ruled out at this early stage.
Startups like Tesla are not just software savvy, they are building software at the core of their brand identity and products.
At the same time, vehicle developers must consider that not all vehicles are used by the same driver (or passenger). With many cars as connected as smartphones, users expect their preferences to be loaded within seconds of getting into the car. This could range from something as simple as synchronizing music and navigation to automatically adjusting the steering wheel or seat when entering a shared vehicle.
Some drivers may also prefer a section of their vehicle’s display to be more prominent than others. In short, the instrument cluster should offer an element of flexibility and personalization. For example, one driver might want to highlight battery level and nearby charging stations, while another driver might prioritize their music library as part of their entertainment-first configuration. .
Since these vehicles are often used for short trips and vacations, navigation may need to take center stage. In addition to displaying directions on the main infotainment screen, it can also project digital arrows onto the road via augmented reality. Otherwise, the driver will access the shared vehicle once or twice a week and travel to a common destination. Sync your existing navigation apps (Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, and other services) so you don’t have to enter the full address every time. In any case, drivers should be allowed to choose what suits them.
Of course, these are simple considerations and far from the groundbreaking changes found elsewhere in the vehicle. However, being able to easily adjust system settings to suit different needs goes a long way to improving his UX of shared vehicles and helps customers feel more at home.
The importance of customization goes beyond just navigation and is facilitated by the advent of over-the-air (OTA) updates and increasing in-vehicle computing power. Consumers are accustomed to having smartphone updates delivered quickly and easily, so automakers must update their vehicles in a similar way. This capability will be enhanced by his rollout of 5G, which will allow us to send and receive the data we need wirelessly even faster.
Such regular updates are a big undertaking for automakers and the industry, but opportunities abound. Stakeholders are very accustomed to an indefinite decline in the residual value of a vehicle from the moment it is actually removed from the premises. However, OTA renewals have the potential to recapture added value by extending vehicle life and providing opportunities to build brand relationships with consumers. It also gives OEMs flexibility if they take the wrong steps. Such errors should be avoided in the first place, but OTA updates may allow players to adjust certain elements based on customer feedback.
Connectivity isn’t the only CASE trend that requires a big focus on UX. Charging is a great example, especially given the industry’s move towards powertrain electrification.
Today, electric vehicle (EV) owners often need to download numerous apps with various payment mechanisms to gain access to the entire available charging infrastructure. Streamlining this process with concepts such as e-Roaming (multiple brands of charging stations under one banner) can go a long way toward improving the charging experience and attracting more potential EV owners. can be of great help in getting newcomers into the market.
There is also room to rethink how users are billed. Various solutions, such as battery replacement and wireless charging, reduce charging time and eliminate the need for users to drag heavy cables across driveways and sidewalks. These concepts are being explored by suppliers and automakers alike to address growing concerns about convenience and availability of today’s infrastructure.
The automotive industry understands the importance of enabling the above features, but inevitably requires outside assistance to do so. New automakers are adopting software-first design philosophies from day one, while incumbent automakers still have portfolios dominated by internal combustion engine products. Players need to decide how much software expertise they can bring in-house, and how much they are willing to delegate to Google, Microsoft, or Amazon as an extension.
This is a decision that must be made quickly. Startups like Tesla aren’t just software savvy, they’ve already built the core software for their brand identity and products. Failure to meet expectations can erode brand loyalty, as cars are rapidly moving from being just a means of getting from point A to point B and extending the consumer’s technology life. there is. For the first time in decades, the automaker hierarchy is under serious threat.
Over-the-air renewals have the potential to recapture added value by extending vehicle life and providing opportunities to build brand relationships with consumers.
The risks are even higher if the industry shifts fully to a shared mobility driven market. In such a future, a vehicle’s infotainment unit could prove to be the only touchpoint that OEMs have with the masses. In this case, it’s imperative that their brand is front and center, and that the connectivity-enabled products inside work seamlessly.
Again, these players are likely to need help to bring such products to life, so a competent supplier will be successful in offering an open approach to software. Some automakers want to buy a “plug and play” solution, while others want to use software development kits to define the path in more detail. I’m here.
The building blocks for a software-defined automotive future are already being built today. And as the industry barrels toward a world where the nuances of software trump mechanical sophistication, it’s critical that corporate strategy be defined by the desires and whims of users.