By Chad Ammons, VP Global Strategy & Innovation
Things are moving fast in the automotive industry. Connectivity, Autonomous Driving, Sharing-Subscription models and Electrification (C.A.S.E.) are the industry’s north star, and we’re all racing to get there first. Here are three major trends from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and National Automobile Dealers Association in San Francisco that could help you embrace disruption and harness the technology of the future.
1. Voice Assistants Are Leading the Way
Personal assistant solutions like Alexa, Google Home and Siri are leading the massive adoption of voice-enabled devices for home and mobile eco-systems. And now, smart speaker technology is moving into the auto world, blurring the lines between home and vehicle.
At CES, we had a chance to demo the Alexa integration into a Mercedes Benz. This technology allows drivers to create lists, turn lights on and off, and get weather reports just like they do at home. Products like this integrate customers’ connected technologies into their cars. We predict the response will be enthusiastic. According to a recent study by Assurant, 68 percent of respondents believed that connected technologies make life better.
2. The Cabin Experience Is Everything
Manufacturers are focusing on creating a seamless relationship between smartphones and vehicles. One of the most visible trends at CES was the dominance of screens and integrated vehicle connectivity. In the past, big trade shows were an opportunitiy to display the latest vehicle form factor. But at CES 2019, a major automaker, Hyundai, didn’t display any vehicles at all. Instead, they had pods showcasing the driver experience. This focus on cabin experience over vehicle form factor tells us that getting from A to B is now just a given. In this era, the cabin experience is the most important part of the commute.
A connected car research study by Parks and Associates found that 92 percent of U.S. car owners perform activities that require a mobile or internet connection while driving. Small wonder that screens and integrated vehicle connectivity are essential to the cabin experience car owners want.
3. The Future Is Informed and Well-Connected
A recent study found that connected cars send over 25 gigabytes of data to the cloud every hour. A staggering amount. And the industry is clearly focused on implementing use cases for all that data. At CES, Mojio teamed up with Bosch to showcase automated emergency response technology. Leveraging vehicle sensor data, their product can instantly place an emergency call to a first responder in the event of a crash. And, it’s available for virtually every car on the road.
But emergency response is just the beginning. At NADA, Assurant unveiled Pocket Drive — a digital solution that collects a wealth of vehicle information and communicates it to the driver via mobile app. It offers consumers real-time alerts on their vehicle’s health, location and driver behavior. It features roadside assistance, maintenance reminders and an optional Wi-Fi hotspot. The Personal Mechanic Support feature can provide, recommend, even dispatch repair options, all at fair market value. The app also gives users access to U.S.-based Premium Tech Support to help them get the most out of their new technology. That’s just the consumer version. The dealer version of Pocket Drive helps dealers and fleet owners streamline their operations, manage their inventory and boost customer loyalty.
Connectivity solutions like Pocket Drive are paving the way for a new way of thinking in the automotive industry. They’re empowering consumers to take control of vehicle health and maintenance, manage emergencies, stay organized, and keep in touch with the dealers, repair centers and technical support they trust.
Assurant leverages decades of expertise at the intersection of the car and mobile device. We’re looking at the future of innovation, from new sources of fuel, to new ways of ride-sharing, to autonomous vehicles. As one of the world’s leading providers of vehicle protection solutions, we’re ready to partner with you as you navigate the road ahead.