The automotive industry is becoming increasingly reliant on digital functions in cars. The industry wants to offer its users a novel automotive experience. The car is becoming a living space – with all the features that people expect in their living environment. Six trends will be important for user experience in the future. Join us on a virtual journey with the car of the future.
In earlier times, taking a family trip – let's say on vacation – required meticulous planning, which sometimes overshadowed packing your suitcase. Do we have enough to read? Games? What about the music? Have we thought about snacks? Families were brought to the verge of a nervous breakdown.
If we are being honest, the car has always been more than just a means of transport – sharp minds have determined that we spend an average of over four years of our lives in a car. Almost half of those with family and friends. Only the program of entertainment on the road was limited: besides identifying license plates and driving to rest stops, I remember soothing grumbling children in the back seat. At some point the walkman came along, followed by the digital transformation. Today we dream of vehicles that take us from A to B and offer each passenger their own films.
So we can see that the car is more than just a metal box with four wheels that moves us and our luggage around – just as a smartphone is not just for making phone calls. The car is a living space which, if we trust the above figure, we spend about five percent of our lives in. It is also an Internet-capable device that connects passengers to their online ecosystems.
Autonomous driving will remain a dream for the next few years, despite the constant development of ever more powerful driving assistants. And as long as that is the case, as the driver I have to pay attention to what is happening around me. V2X functions will help with this in the next few years. The most natural relief for the driver – and already available today – is a voice assistant that helps to operate other functions. While some voice assistants read my e-mails to me and can even answer them, others remind me of the first voice menus for booking travel with the Deutsche Bahn: "I didn't quite catch that. Please repeat the destination..." – this is still a long way off from natural conversation, such as that seen with K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider. Future digital onboard assistants will have to become digital co-drivers, but to do so, development will have to pass through a few more stages of maturity: assistants have to monitor the driver, identify their emotions, and...