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  • What is the connected car?
    • 08/11/15
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Connected car
    • Global
    • English

    What is the connected car?

    Early adopters, especially Gen Y, are looking for a more connected driving experience. Find out how safety, autonomous driving and entertainment are driving demand for connected features

    • 07/28/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    What can Leading Edge Consumers (LECs) tell us about the car of the future?

    According to our Connected Car study, the car of the future is almost here. The arrival of connected vehicles will usher in a new era in automotive history and features that could not have been imagined a short while ago will soon come as standard with most new car models. But how widely do the new features on offer appeal to drivers? Our survey of 5,800 consumers in Brazil, Russia, China, Germany, the UK and US provides clues to their attitudes towards seven new connected car concepts. The results give much needed insight into how connected cars are likely to be received by the mass market and Leading Edge Consumers (LECs) – a highly influential group who often lead the way in the adoption of new technologies.

    15% of respondents in our global study are defined as LECs. As is often the case with LECs, this group of early adopters and influential consumers is dominated by young males. 64% of LECs in our survey were male and 61% were classified as young. Although just a small sub-set, this group is well and truly in the driving seat when it comes to shaping the car of the future. Automotive manufacturers need to take time to understand the needs and motivations of this important group because LECs are, without a doubt, significantly more likely than other respondents to welcome new connected car concepts. They over-index on all seven concepts tested and are keen to embrace the possibilities afforded by new technologies. But instead of just being ahead of the curve and more likely to welcome new concepts, LECs have a different set of priorities when it comes to new features.

    “Ultra Safe” and “Data Tracker” – features that enhance safety and enable drivers to track consumption, run diagnostics and access accident data – are rated most highly by both LECs and non-LECs. However, whereas general consumers perceive “Life Manager” – a feature that enables a car to communicate with other connected devices – as being least appealing at 62%, LECs clearly can appreciate the benefits offered at 84%. Similarly, while a car that understands their entertainment preferences appeals to 68% of general consumers, it appeals to 90% of LECs.

    How can transport in five years’ time look like?

    When we asked consumers about what transport methods they expect to be using daily in five years’ time, LECs were far more likely to be sharing cars than non-LECs. Half of LECs expect that they will be car-pooling compared to less than a third (32%) of non-LECs. Car clubs (pay-as-you-go) are likely to be almost twice as popular amongst LECs than non-LECs (47% compared to 24% respectively). The willingness of this highly receptive audience to drive cars other than their own offers manufacturers the opportunity to use car club models to showcase new functionality and drive demand.

    In line with data from LECs and as adoption increases, we anticipate there will be greater demand for a range of “lifestyle” benefits as consumers start to understand the many possibilities the connected car brings. While entertainment and lifestyle management related components are, as yet, only achieving strong appeal amongst this smaller, highly technology literate sub-set, we believe it is only a matter of time before these functionalities go mainstream.

    Background Leading Edge Consumer See our infographic about the Leading Edge Consumers and how they are driving the connected car market. Leading Edge Consumers are the consumers who are most likely to shape the future – those are early buyers, who are passionate about the auto-tech industry, and/or they influence others.

    Frank Haertl is Global Lead Automotive for GfK.

    Get our Connected Car report:

    GfK’s Connected Car Report: Download our free preview report or get the full insights in our global report, which is available to purchase now. It contains detailed market-by-market analysis and brand specific insight. For your definitive guide to the road ahead or any further information, contact us.

    For more about our offerings, visit our Automotive pages.

    AUTOTALK newsletter Discover latest industry insights, market data and how Auto and Consumer trends will affect your business. Sign-up for AutoTalk.

  • Where are the tire tracks leading us to?
    • 07/23/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    Where are the tire tracks leading us to?

    Which ASEAN markets will follow Indonesia and experience strong growth? And what will this mean for the car tire market in the region?

    • 07/21/15
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Are you going tone deaf to car audio cues?

    I notice from my own life how over-stimulated I am sometimes. Whether I’m bombarded with video messages on screens on a commuter train, or am subjected to ambient noise while in the city center, I’m constantly receiving messages about my environment.

    It’s no wonder that when I get into the relative serenity of my own car that I look forward to unwinding, relaxing, and letting down my guard. (At least for a little while, until it’s time to crank the music.)

    But sometimes when I’m in my car, I’m kept busy trying to place various noises – sometimes beeps, sometimes buzzes, sometimes alarm tones. I must ask myself which one was that and what do I do now?

    Well, the noises all come from audio feedback systems in cars, such as entertainment or driver assistance systems. When you have multiple assistance systems, you have multiple feedback.

    I’ll get back to my own experience, but first I want to tell you more about the UX study that we at GfK conducted recently. We surveyed global car manufacturers about human machine interfaces (HMI) in different car models ranging from the compact to the luxury segment. We learned, among other things, that users are looking for flexibility and easiness in operating information systems.

    Study basics Let’s start with the basics to set the stage. We found that user experience (UX) scores rose with increases in the car model year.

    We also saw that young drivers and tech enthusiasts tend to have higher user experience scores.

    These are some of the more “expected” findings of our study.

    Looking forward The “unexpected” part is what comes in addition to understanding the audience and the types of cars that provide the best user experiences. For instance, our study also showed which features consumers want from car manufacturers moving forward.

    These include a tablet PC as a full replacement for a built-in infotainment system, and gesture control, among other features.

    Now, back to my own experience with audio cues, before we move to the things we learned in a recent connected car study. From the user experience test I mentioned, I saw that due to the large number of assistance systems, drivers were overburdened with a wide range of audio signals – in many cases without any supporting visual cues.

    Take the automated parking assistants as an example. Most drivers were unwilling to rely solely on the system and the pictures in the display.

    This was true even for drivers who had previous experience with similar systems before those used for the survey. People used the rear-view mirrors and some even turned around fully to check the back of the car when parking.

    But what if someone ignores the Central Information Display (CID) and doesn’t understand what the “bing” tone means? Several times during the study, GfK moderators had to directly intervene and tell the drivers to brake to prevent the car from crashing!

    Conclusion My conclusion is that this type of audio and visual feedback has clearly reached its limits, if the driver cannot pay attention anymore and runs the risk of crashing the car because he or she didn’t know what the signal meant. It’s like having gone tone deaf to the cues.

    Therefore, I say car makers should reconsider their approach and use natural language cues like the word “STOP” if an accident is imminent. This could apply to audio feedback for other advanced driver assistance systems as well, such as emergency braking systems which are only rarely if ever activated.

    Car makers are on the right track: Our data showed that overall, drivers are satisfied with their infotainment systems’ look, feel and sound (a score of 4.5 in total), however, the products lack personal engagement and inspirational motives.

    For OEMs, this means they can differentiate among themselves by focusing and boosting user-oriented qualities(such as product fit and inspiration).

    Connected Car Now, for the connected car. What does that have to do with audio cues?

    Well, for one, in-car information and entertainment systems are a basis of the connected car – and it is these very systems that are often outfitted with peep tones.

    A GfK Connected Car study conducted in six countries showed that drivers see connected cars that provide data, entertainment, and life management as a viable option, and they are intrigued by the idea of a car knowing a person’s entertainment preferences.

    Indeed, when it comes to positive emotions related to connected car features, entertainment had the highest positive emotional reaction.

    Now, let’s see if we can get that kind of positive reaction to all the peep tones coming at us inside our vehicles – or find a different way to alert drivers when needed.

    Background connected car concepts We asked consumers to evaluate seven connected car concepts.

    Ultra Safe, a car that makes driving as safe as possible Connectivity with other cars, ensures you are alerted to upcoming problems such as accidents or heavy traffic.  Sensors in the car will pick-up if you are not alert. Connectivity helps you locate parking spots and the car also parks itself.

    Data Tracker, a car that tracks usage, runs diagnostics, checks repair costs and automatically records accident data Entertainment, a car that knows your entertainment preferences Life Manager, a car that communicates with other connected devices in your home Home To Destination, not a car but a travel solution. This app will take complete responsibility for a trip, identifying the best transport solution Self-Sufficient, a strong but light electric car Autonomous Driving, a car that drives completely autonomously.

    About the UX survey The UX Score is based on a ten-question survey administered after a user has interacted with a product. The UX Score provides a measure that can be used to track experiences over time, better understand product loyalty or market share, or compare HMIs.

    GfK’s Connected Car Report:

    Download our free preview report or get the full insights in our global report, which is available to purchase now. It contains detailed market-by-market analysis and brand specific insight. For your definitive guide to the road ahead or any further information, contact us.

    Get more insights Jan M. Panhoff is Senior Consultant of User Experience at GfK in Germany. To gain the full insights and benefits from our detailed studies contact us.

    For more about our offerings, visit our Automotive and User Experience pages AUTOTALK newsletter Discover latest industry insights, market data and how Auto and Consumer trends will affect your business. Sign-up for AutoTalk.

    • 07/14/15
    • Automotive
    • Germany
    • English

    Are German drivers prepared to pay for the numerous capabilities of tomorrow’s connected car?

    The connected car will be a reality within a few years, as enhanced safety, economy and entertainment become standard features of new vehicles. So how do the Germans feel about the car of the future?

    In this extensive global project carried out at the end of 2014, we interviewed 5,800 consumers in six key markets – Germany, China, Brazil, Russia the UK and USA – to find out what the future really looks like for consumers, automotive manufacturers and the wider supply chain. We asked German drivers about their attitudes towards driving now and their thoughts about expected future innovations.

    German drivers are reasonably “happy” drivers German drivers are reasonably positive about the experience of driving, with 68% stating they are “happy”, 69% “peaceful” and 61% “relaxed”. 29% describe themselves as heavy drivers, spending more than seven hours driving per week – close to the average for the six countries in our survey.

    The top pain point for German consumers, with 43% citing it, is “expensive gas/oil/petrol”. “Being involved in an accident” is second at 38% and “Being stuck in traffic” third at 35%.

    There are some differences for Leading Edge Consumers – a group of early adopters and influential consumers. The research shows that for this audience, being involved in an accident and aggressive driving behavior are less of a concern compared to all consumers, as is the cost of fuel, serving and insurance. Looking at worries around “Self oriented” topics, they are more worried about wasting time in traffic.

    What German drivers want from a connected car When considering what they want from a car, German consumers think of safety and security, value for money and durability as equally important key considerations. While they think fuel efficiency, ease of use and saving time are important as well, a car that suits their personality, has an attractive design or the latest technology is of less interest.

    When we look at Security, Gratification, Wellbeing and Freedom as an index, we can see which features meet key areas of need. Safety features will become standard hygiene factors, so it’s important for brands to understand which other attributes meet consumer needs. Here Freedom ranks highly – namely value for money, durability, fuel efficiency and ease of use. Gratification and Wellbeing overall are less important.

    German drivers are interested in safety and security features:

    66% are interested in emergency braking 65% are interested in self-parking controls 64% are interested in pre-incident preparation such as automatic seat belts 64% are interested in emergency calling 56% are interested in automatic steering 52% are interested in a car that can sense and communicate key data Of the six nationalities in our survey, North American and British consumers say the idea of autonomous driving makes them feel the most anxious and powerless. German consumers do not share these issues to the same extent, with only 15% saying they would feel anxious and 15% powerless in a self-drive car.

    Of the seven new concepts that the connected car offers, German consumers rank “Ultra Safe” first (57% – a car that connects with other cars and has integrated safety cameras), followed by “Self Sufficient” (42% – a strong but light electric car), and “Data Tracker” third (38% – a car that tracks usage, runs diagnostics and records accident data).

    Are German drivers prepared to pay for the numerous capabilities of tomorrow’s connected car?

    While 41% state they would pay more for “Ultra Safe”, willingness to pay more for other connected car features is significantly lower. Only 17% say they would pay more for “Life Manager”, for example.

    German consumers are not as positive about connected cars as drivers in China, Brazil and Russia. Together with consumers in the US and UK, German consumers are more circumspect. However, knowing that the Germans are both safety and cost conscious provides opportunities for manufacturers of connected car vehicles to meet those needs.

    Background Leading Edge Consumer See our infographic about the Leading Edge Consumers and how they are driving the connected car market. Leading Edge Consumers are the consumers who are most likely to shape the future – those are early buyers, who are passionate about the auto-tech industry, and/or they influence others.

    Get our Connected Car report:

    Frank Haertl is Global Lead Automotive for GfK.

    GfK’s Connected Car Report: Download our free preview report or get the full insights in our global report, which is available to purchase now. It contains detailed market-by-market analysis and brand specific insight. For your definitive guide to the road ahead or any further information, contact us.

    For more about our offerings, visit our Automotive pages.

    AUTOTALK newsletter Discover latest industry insights, market data and how Auto and Consumer trends will affect your business. Sign-up for AutoTalk.

    • 07/07/15
    • Automotive
    • Connected car
    • Global
    • English

    Why Generation Y is in the driving seat for the connected car

    The connected car will be a reality within a few years, as enhanced safety, economy and entertainment features become standard issue on most new cars. So how do the drivers of the future feel about the car of tomorrow? According to newly released data from our Connected Car study, based on a survey of 5,800 consumers across six markets, connected cars hold most appeal for Generation Y.

    Of all those surveyed in our study, Generation Y, those aged 16-34, are most enthusiastic about the prospect of the connected car. While the full range of connected car concepts appeals to Generation Y, the most desirable feature to this audience is a car that parks itself. 70% claim to have an interest in a car that can identify a parking space of the right size and undertake the parking maneuver automatically. Other features that appeal to this age group include in-car CCTV to record views from around the vehicle and notify police in case of an accident (64%), a windshield display showing maps and other navigational information (64%), an in-car Wi-Fi hot spot (63%) and in-car biometrics (63%).

  • What drivers want
    • 06/25/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    What drivers want

    Understanding what features drivers want in their connected car

  • Drive me happy - how drivers feel behind the wheel and what affects their emotions in the driving seat
    • 06/16/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    Drive me happy - how drivers feel behind the wheel and what affects their emotions in the driving seat

    Can the connected car meet drivers’ emotional needs and deliver the “feel good” factor? Find out what makes drivers happy.

  • What’s moving and shaking the Russian market for engine oils?
    • 06/01/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    What’s moving and shaking the Russian market for engine oils?

    The Russian market for engine oils is undergoing a shift: After a good 2013, the market began to stagnate in 2014 and experienced a slow start in 2015.

  • The connected car – what grinds Russia’s gears
    • 05/20/15
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    The connected car – what grinds Russia’s gears

    The connected car will be a reality within a few years, as enhanced safety, economy and entertainment become standard features of most new vehicles. So how do Russians feel about the car of the future?

    • 04/27/15
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Financial impact of the connected car

    The cost associated with cars is a significant concern in GB. The greatest concern by all age groups is the cost of fuel, whilst the cost of repairs troubles older drivers, and cost of insurance phases younger drivers (who has higher premiums).

General