When we’re behind the wheel of our cars, we’re all after different information at different times. Some drivers will be more concerned about their planned routes and fuel levels, whereas others will only focus on what they’re going to do when they reach their destinations.
Traditionally, this is all insight we’ve had to seek out ourselves. However, with the advent of new technologies - such as virtual personal assistants – cars doing this for us will become increasingly commonplace.
Virtual personal assistants are becoming ever-more routine in today’s connected cars, enabling new levels of personalisation, safety, control and entertainment. With a deep understanding of the car itself, and an ability to meet any driver’s individual needs, this new technology is revolutionising the in-car experience. According to Gartner, by 2020, there will be a quarter of a billion connected vehicles on the road (opens in new tab), enabling new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities.
New research - commissioned by Nuance Communications and carried out by YouGov - has revealed the biggest frustrations of European drivers - in the UK and Germany specifically - and the crucial role that automotive assistants can play in alleviating these concerns.
Top of the list for frustrations on the road were, predictably, time wasted in traffic, a lack of insight into parking at any given destination and getting lost.
By tapping into this opportunity and harnessing the Internet of Things, automotive assistants are able to deliver push notifications if there are delays on a particular road, suggesting a faster, alternative route in real-time. For a group travelling in a bigger vehicle, an automotive assistant is able to reserve a family parking space ahead of time for added convenience. Furthermore, the assistant can ‘learn’ these unique preferences over time, tailoring its suggestions and services to fit the profile of whichever driver is sitting behind the wheel.
While this might sound a little far-fetched, with today’s technology, this is all possible. We all have different needs on the road. And as one of the most disperse group of individuals - representing all adult age-groups and types of people - drivers all demand and enjoy different aspects of being on the road.
Nuance’s research also revealed that European drivers want technology in their cars to go further to support them than it ever has done before. Today’s drivers are calling for in-car technology to:
- Act as their guide on the road (opens in new tab)
- Help them deal with their car diagnostics, reporting issues (opens in new tab), and understanding their car’s new features
- Proactively tell them if there is free parking at their destination
- Let them know if they don’t have enough fuel to complete their journey
- Inform them if they are likely to arrive late
Drivers also seek a more advanced method of securing access to their car, with over one in three drivers (35 per cent in UK, 36 per cent in Germany) stating they would prefer a biometric solution - with either face or voice recognition technology - to identify them, in place of our traditional car keys (just 27 per cent in UK, 24 per cent in Germany).
These findings underline a mentality shift from drivers, who are now more willing than ever to embrace technology in cars. A significant proportion (65 per cent in UK, 53 per cent in Germany) of drivers also said they’d like their in-car assistant to learn from them and their past behaviour to deliver a better driving experience. Drivers likewise want their car to remember their preferred routes (39 per cent in UK, 30 per cent in Germany), while around a third (35 per cent in UK, 30 per cent in Germany) want it to remember their individual preferences on the road.
All of this is very much possible with intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which bridges the gap between the car and the driver. Driving doesn’t represent the same activity for everyone, with some considering it a chore and others a pastime. Therefore, the key for automakers is delivering technology the meets the needs of each of these individuals.
By capturing key information on drivers’ preferred destinations and past-times, in-car digital assistant technology provides a more humanised driving experience - helping us spend less time on the road and more time doing what we enjoy.
Fatima Vital, Senior Director Automotive Marketing, Nuance (opens in new tab)
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