Have you purchased a new vehicle lately — or taken one for a test drive? What was it about the experience that got your attention?
Think about when you first climbed into the driver’s seat. It’s likely the first thing you did after noting the comfortable interior was push the keyless ignition button and explore the vehicle’s infotainment system. You may have noticed the high quality of the large LCD display, and started tapping it to explore the various features — GPS, parking assistance, climate and voice control, and smartphone connectivity options, for example. The ease and responsiveness of the touch-control buttons may have impressed you, and you probably thought, “These features will make the driving experience so much easier and more enjoyable.”
At that point, you put the car in gear and took off. Within the first mile or two, you may have tested out some features of the vehicle’s advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), such as adaptive cruise control, blindspot warnings and lane-keeping assistance. The more features the vehicle offered up, the more you enjoyed the journey. Sure, the mechanical aspects of the car were also important — the suspension, turning radius, handling, rate of acceleration and so on. But you couldn’t help but notice how software helped to define your driving experience.
Thanks to Consumer Demand, Cars Are Getting Smarter
In-vehicle infotainment and assistant systems — and the immersive digital experience they can provide — are what’s driving differentiation in the automotive industry today. The global in-vehicle infotainment market size is expected to reach $42.7 billion by 2025, growing at CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period. And while software represents just 10% of total vehicle content, by 2030, that percentage could increase to 30%.
Our ever-evolving smartphones and advanced technologies such as AI and cloud computing have paved the way for digital innovation in the automotive industry, creating endless possibilities to personalize the in-vehicle experience and connect it to many aspects of consumers’ lives. This interconnectivity — which enables not only convenience but a richer, more fulfilling driving experience — is why consumers are paying so much attention to the digital experience inside their cars.
Here are four reasons the in-vehicle digital experience is becoming the primary differentiator among automotive brands — and a necessity for future success:
- Commutes are getting longer, and people are busier. Many people view time spent in their cars as a tremendous waste of time, particularly during their morning commute. Despite the advantages of working in the office, the pandemic demonstrated for many the benefits of remote work, which eliminates commuting. As several large organizations have given employees the opportunity to continue to work remotely, driving to work is much less appealing. However, if in-vehicle digital systems enable drivers to multi-task safely and effectively while on their route to the office, people may be much more willing to do so — and they’ll need to buy a car that offers those advanced features.
- Consumers expect personalization. AI has enabled a multitude of service providers and ecommerce platforms to provide a high degree of personalization — and consumers love it. Epsilon research revealed that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences, and 90% find personalization appealing. As personalization becomes table-stakes for experiences ranging from online shopping to driver seat presets, consumers will expect more of it, and look for automotive manufacturers that deliver.
- AI, 5G, IoT are more widely available. Once the stuff of science fiction, these advanced technologies have infiltrated our lives in many ways. According to IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, there are 51.2 million smart homes in North America alone. Anyone with a smart home will eventually want a smart car — one that delivers comparable features and capabilities.
- Autonomous vehicles are coming. Enabled by Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, self-driving cars such as those introduced by Google are disrupting the auto industry and will eventually force traditional automotive manufacturers to find new ways to attract customers. The race to autonomous driving begins with increasingly sophisticated in-vehicle infotainment and assistant systems, such as those offered by BMW, Daimler, Honda and others. These manufacturers are ahead of the game, providing high-performance digital experiences that include multiple touch screens, voice control and advanced personalization. With autonomous vehicles hot on their heels, they’ll have to enhance and expand those systems to maintain competitive advantage.
IBM’s Automotive 2030 Executive Survey found that 80% of executives surveyed believe digital services will enhance the driver experience in the coming years, and that to differentiate themselves in the market, auto brands must prioritize in-vehicle digital experiences over driving features. Notably, Volkswagon’s CEO Herbert Diess thinks software will account for 90% of future innovations in vehicles.
The Right Software Matters
In-car infotainment and assistant systems will inevitably integrate and interact with every aspect of the driving experience in the foreseeable future. And while every car will eventually have a digital cockpit, the quality and performance of the software that powers it will make the difference between moving inventory and watching consumers drive away in your competitor’s vehicle.
Echelle Resources combines performance and next-level innovation to deliver high-quality products and services that help solve the most pressing challenges for automotive manufacturers. Our team’s expertise spans across brands, models and makes, providing the flexibility to deliver high-performance embedded solutions for a wide range of partners in the Tier 1 space. We also work closely with OEM manufacturers and software vendors that are approved for seamless integrations, so you can build what you need, fast.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.