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We are currently going through a motoring evolution with bad design surrounding us within our vehicles. Design and UX has never been so crucial in the current consumer-led environment, yet the automotive industry has been slow to respond. More organisations than ever are recognising the significance of UI/UX design and as a result are reviving their products to win customers over.
Our needs and wants for a vehicle have changed as we now require everything we purchase to be mobile and instant. Although vehicles are a place for safety and transport, consumers are now demanding elements of interaction and entertainment.
Information Age recently stated that "BMW recently predicted that the IoT will change the automotive industry more so than electric and hybrid cars did". Connected cars are a huge opportunity for the automotive industry and are certainly set to become a trend as opposed to fad. Recently, What Car? announced that connectivity was deemed a more important purchasing factor than a car’s brand prestige, previous experience with the model, ability to personalise and its CO2 emissions.
Over the next five years the number of connected cars on the road is predicted to rise significantly, demonstrating that connectivity is no longer reserved for the luxury market. Gartner forecasts that one in five vehicles across the world will have a wireless network connection by the year 2020, meaning that there will be more than 250 million connected vehicles worldwide.
Whilst this is a great opportunity for the automotive industry, the manufacturers that will test and find the best UX for modern day cars will reap huge benefits and set the trend for future models. Many consumers now require and expect the same functions in their vehicle as they do on their smartphone, however few manufacturers are prepared to focus on these areas.
The UI within vehicles has changed over the last seven years that require complex stereos, mobile connectivity, multi-zone climate control systems, navigation, vehicle information centres, phones, contact lists, and a host of other things. The cost of producing these systems are high and time consuming. This is why the likes of Apple and Google are working to transfer their experiences to in-car devices. This provides an extremely high expectation for both brands that could, if successful deliver a solution with a great in-car experience.
Incorporating a positive UI/UX experience within vehicles could happen in the next few years. Although we could still be a few years away from a standard solution to the problem of UX in the automotive industry. In the end, it is our consumer-led environment that will tell us whether the experience is in fact a great one.
Nathan Abery | UX Consultant
0203 301 9925 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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