The car’s dead. Long live the car.
Seems that car makers are having a lot of fun right now.
For all the doom-mongering from disruptionistas around an imminent collapse of the mainstream manufacturers, there sure is a press-storm of news about their plans for our future.
From stalking the edges of SXSW for the last few years to this year’s floor shows at CES, the techno-boom that was supposed to drive them all out of business appears to be pushing cars and customers closer together again.
Having fallen out of love with automotive’s somewhat tardy adoption of technology (my Mazda still has a CD player. I know! So quaint. At least I’ll be right on trend when CD’s make a comeback), the trend spotters and cool hunters have had a field day recently – from BMW’s you can land a drone on to a Hyundai that docks with your lounge.
Now, as all get out as the concept car is, there’s a serious undercurrent here: that the connect-ness potential of cars makes them about the most potent IoT object and as such, I’d suggest that the next serious step-ups in aligning UX, product and user experience design is going come from the old guard. Perhaps even more so than from the new (as Adam Hammond describes).
What this means for the way we ‘buy’, ‘own’. ‘borrow’ or ‘loan’ cars in future is that dealerships have a chance to hone their experience demonstration and delivery skills now. Because the car’s going to get a good deal more complex and the last thing we need is for that to appear complicated.