Pain points in consumer driving experiences strongly will influence the next decade of changes in mobility, according to a new white paper from the Experiences per Mile Council.
Universal challenges for drivers—such as congestion, breaks in connectivity between smart devices and vehicles and overly complicated in-vehicle technology—will play a large role in the coming years as auto makers, dealerships, mobility providers and suppliers navigate the future of mobility, according to the report.
The council formed last October to identify changing trends in mobility, evaluate shifting value chains in the industry, inspire cross-industry collaboration and fuel best practices. Twenty-one companies—including SBD Automotive, Harman, Darktrace, Salesforce, Hyundai and Cox Automotive—make up the council.
The council considers "experiences per mile" as the hyper-individualized experiences that help drivers and riders maximize the time they spend in a vehicle, that is personally owned, shared vehicle or otherwise.
For instance, improvements in mobility could take the form of more built-in vehicle connectivity, which will grow from 48 percent of all new vehicles globally to nearly 96 percent by 2030, the council says.
The report, titled "Experiences Per Mile 2030," includes research from SBD Automotive and examines how consumers sit at the center of the mobility experience.
"A next-generation mobility experience needs to be one that gives the consumer time back," Jeff Hannah, analyst and director of SBD Automotive's North America office, said during a recent press conference. "As auto makers have really closed the gap on quality and physical gaps, more and more consumers are prioritizing digital experiences when they look at their next car."
A survey of 1,000 car buyers in the U.S., China and Germany found most drivers are using technology more now than they have within the past few years, but many think technology is getting too complicated.
Priorities for digital experiences differ slightly among the U.S., China and Germany, according to the study. But, overall, traditional vehicle-buying factors such as size and appearance are being overtaken by new considerations such as how the vehicle integrates with a person's digital lifestyle.
Among country-specific preferences:
- In the U.S., vehicle spaciousness is the top priority for drivers. That's followed by the vehicle's ability to reduce stress, how much it allows the driver to be productive, providing helpful suggestions such as routing and feeling luxurious inside.
- In China, productivity while driving is the key priority. That's followed by helping the driver stay in communication while in the car, how much it helps reduce congestion on the roads, spaciousness and making helpful suggestions.
- In Germany, reducing stress is the priority. That's followed by spaciousness, making the vehicle an entertaining place, easing congestion and offering helpful suggestions.
The next decade
In the report, the council established five benefits to consumers that could come from better collaboration within the industry: accomplishment, well-being, social connection, enjoyment and environmental consciousness.
The council also established four key timelines for the next decade of mobility. Experimentation and learning are the priorities for today's mobility development. From 2021 to 2023, the council expects the industry to gain wisdom built on insights from consumer behavior.
From 2024 to 2027, the experience economy will take over, and for the last three years of the decade, consumers will have access to a meshed ecosystem of mobility and living.
"The consumer must come first, and we know that consumer preferences are changing," said Lea Malloy, associate vice president of emerging tech at Cox Automotive. "They want technology to make their lives and activities and actions simpler."