Report: Consumers Want Their Cars to Behave Like Smartphones


As new car models boast more connectivity features, automakers are attempting to differentiate through a unique take on human machine interface (HMI) which allows humans to interact with computers.

A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group of Strategy Analytics entitled Personalized Displays: A Potential Difference-Maker For In-Car HMI, indicates consumers in the U.S., western Europe, and China prefer customizable displays for their in-vehicle display screens.

Specifically, as touchscreen-enabled smartphones spread through home and retail spaces, Strategy Analytics found consumers say they want their in-car display to perform like a smartphone with additional HMI opportunities. This trend is particularly strong among early adopters and technology enthusiasts.

The report also indicates that personalization among automakers also provides added value, though careful implementation is necessary to ensure it’s practical and usable. Though largely used for infotainment, the report also emphasizes that HMI is an area that can be “quickly and easily” innovated upon to improve user experiences.

“As any product manager in the automotive space will attest: a car is not a smartphone. As long as a human remains in the loop, design considerations for the car will remain far different,” says Derek Viita, the report’s author and senior analyst for Strategy Analytics.

“Customized displays, though desirable, present some challenges in this unique use case where distraction must be taken into account. Background images must not wash out iconography, touch targets, or labeling. A user must be limited to a reasonably low number of options on each screen.”

Strategy Analytics provides advisory services, consulting, and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer, an automotive electronics companies. A full version of the report can be found here.

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