Recently I had the privilege to meet and discuss my project with Demain Perry, a designer at NPR who is also looking at the changing landscape of car ux. This conversation was really helpful for me to get a full sense of the landscape I'm dealing with, as well a new perspective to approach this.
Something Demain pointed out was the level of complexity that is growing as technology is added to the driving experience. In that, as the car becomes a connected device to say, it becomes a platform that has many different players involved, and there is a lot of translation happening. For example, Apple Carplay and Android Auto are two new platforms entering the market. But they exist on top of the car makers platform, which now adds another interface to an already existing one. On the other side of the spectrum, you have Apps that now have to translate their content and UX for these new device platforms. So far what I've mapped out is this.
After looking at this problem through this lens, I've found new opportunities in having impact on the driving experience. To start, what this graphic doesn't show is the passing on of data, making this a "connected" experience. At this point these verticals are still not communicating with each other all that well, and due to the organizational cluster between the people making the cars, the people making the hardware, and the people making the content, there is a major CMS problem. The auto industry is lost in translation.
So far I've been looking at the complexity of the interfaces, but after this conversation, as well as conversations with a couple classmates, I'm going to pivot my approach for a more content focused perspective. Although at first sight it would make sense that the best way to impact this is through the Automakers themselves, two points of data really jumped out at me for the future.
From Reilly Brennan's weekly report around the future of transportation,
"People like connected vehicle features, but only 30% have them." link
"Vehicles with touch screens will grow from 16.7M in 2015 to over 61M in 2021." link
The solution for a more intuitive driving experience is a seamless translation of connected devices, through a contextually aware HMI that organizes and translates the needs and behaviors of drivers, reducing complexity and and most of all, doesn't get in the way of driving.