The ride has been reinvented. What started as a way to get from point A to point B, has now evolved into an infotainment kiosk—a cafe to catch up with friends, a helper to remind you to pick up flowers for your anniversary, a smart guide that avoids all the clogged roads—all rolled into one sweet ride. No surprise, considering that the driver/passenger is a digital native who demands an in-vehicle experience that is immersive, responsive and exhilarating. This type of automotive consumer is looking for an all-in-one, seamless extension of their hyper-connected life. So, how do you please such a customer?
Start with a simple hello! Studies indicate that half of US car owners actively use voice assistants. Smart personal assistants and voice bots employ artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and data insight. Voice technology allows for an intuitive, handsfree and interactive way to engage, and both consumers and enterprises are widely experimenting with these capabilities. Order takeout, send texts, make calls, skim through tweets, book movie tickets, play podcasts, map the route, schedule appointments, play your song, have a chat, listen to the news — in-vehicle voice-based assistants are truly elevating the ride. HARMAN Ignite includes voice and screen interfaces to provide an intuitive and hyper-personalized in-car experience. It also connects to the driver's personal assistant, along with the connected devices/apps, so the user can merge their connected life into the ride in an efficient and seamless way. Considering that the average American spends an hour a day behind the wheel, the revenue stream possibilities from such intelligent assistants are immense.
"Exciting human-car interaction paradigms are emerging that combine multimodal visual, auditory, and haptic cues, for instance, waving your hand to stop audio play."
Tim VanGoethem,Vice President, Advanced Mobility Solutions,HARMAN
Personalization is another key component to deeply connect with the customer. Marketers overwhelmingly agree that hyper-personalized content amplifies customer engagement, increases ROI and drives more leads. Personalization has huge potential in the automotive domain. Customized portable driver/passenger profiles enriched with insights from analytics can pre-set functions such as temperature, seat adjustment, volume, radio station choices - so your car is ready just the way you like it. Cloud computing and the IoT can integrate with the user's phone and apps to tailor-pick infotainment without interrupting the audio/visual experience—continue playing the song, movie, podcast at the exact spot even as you move from home to on-the-go. It can also manage the customer's range of connected devices - check on the smart door lock about packages delivered, “Run out of milk!" alerts from the smart fridge, read through your reminder checklist and more. HARMAN's hardware-agnostic personal audio combines a mobile app and cloud service to bring a seamless personalized experience to any device.
Finally, to take the in-vehicle experience to another level, blur the lines between the driver/rider and the car. Tim VanGoethem, Vice President, Advanced Mobility Solutions at HARMAN, expands, “Exciting human-car interaction paradigms are emerging that combine multimodal visual, auditory, and haptic cues, for instance, waving your hand to stop audio play. Smart dashboards, advanced displays, and digital cockpits enhance the customized audio-visual experience while ensuring safety with voice or gesture-driven integrated controls." Cognitive eye tracking can further improve safety by monitoring the attention or distraction of the driver in real-time and alerting them accordingly; of particular use for fleet providers, car sharing or ride sharing companies. Augmented reality (AR) is also being used to create 3D maps and turn-by-turn directions with AR visuals.