Many of the concepts I've seen around the car experience seem to really focus on short or static time spans within the driving experience. Realistically though, the life of a car can be scaled over an hour, a day, a week, a month, and so on. Within this scales of time, the relationships change depending on people, environment, and use cases.
A common car commercial shows four friends driving across the country chasing the sunset, and listening to great music while they collect artifacts from the corners of the US. Fill in the country, and music and this works across most markets. But this is just the tip of the ice berg. The car is far more dynamic than this. What happens when the four friends reach their destination and park? Everyone unpacks and changes for a night out, cue the going out commercial. This commercial is set in the city, where as the route changes to playlists and a party ensues before they gather outside the nightclub. The car is parked. and it waits. Things happen. We don't really know what. But the next morning the car is now back at your house, where you have married and had children. Cue the routines, and the family drive commercial. Now we see your kids in the back car seats asking question you don't really have the answers too, and maybe one of these kids isn't yours, it's the kids next door and it's your turn to car pool.
These are all different use cases, and market types, but the one common pattern is the change of passengers and the car waiting. The car does nothing a lot of the time. It exist in space as a holder of the things you need in a car, and a possible ticket.
This also leads to the question of universality in the car. The primary controls of a car are pretty much static from car design to car design. And this is a good thing in that we never have to really relearn how to drive a car. As we move into the secondary controls of the car, this starts to get messy. Although these are not required to drive the car, for the most part, these all are really haptic and really static. The problem is the car inherently is more dynamic than what these offer. More and more, the secondary controls are moving to our devices, and the haptic, static interfaces of the past can't keep up. Within the balance of everything and nothing, there needs to be more context within the information surfacing and the situation the car is in. The other gaping hole in the car experience is the lack of engagement for passengers. Another problem with a UX full of friction in connecting smart devices is the wall it creates for passenger participation. Think about the opportunities in allowing passengers to control secondary controls for cars. Music, Navigation, even climate. This takes a ton off the driver.
For example, say you're in a car with passengers and one of them wants to find the next place to eat. This is usually done with their phone and then communicated to the driver to input into their GPS or they just vocally communicate the directions. What about when someone wants to play a song but the drivers phone is plugged into the interface system. The solution to this is nothing less of complicated and distracting. Even simpler ideas of climate control could effectively remove the need for the driver to constantly be engaged with the passengers and drive the car.
As we move towards self driving cars and urban car shares as a larger market, these types of issues are going to become more and more important within the experience.