In this project together with Harman Becker Automotive Systems GmbH we display how the consumer market, e.g. the smartphone sector, influences the automotive area and what the smartphone-oriented generation expects from today’s infotainment solutions. According to recent studies from J.D. Power, from 2007 to 2014 the amount of smartphone usage has increased from approximately 15 percent to 70 percent. Therefore, nearly everybody is used to have a mobile device every time and everywhere.
Automakers are aware of this trend and offer the possibility for the users to connect their smartphone with their car. Now, users can access their contacts, music and other functions that are brought by the smartphone. But often the interface differs much from the way people know it from their smartphone usage. Thus, there are approaches to integrate existing solutions from the smartphone market into the car to meet the needs of the smartphone-oriented generation. Also automakers can profit by the smartphone integration since the smartphones will always be up-to-date and therefore the HMI keeps up in the field of infotainment.
To have a better understanding of what is really important for the “connected” generation we made an online survey with questions regarding the usage of smartphones and vehicle integrated functions. Results of this survey were compared to current HMI solutions of four selected cars to review current solutions and to find a new way of designing the HMI of a car and implemented it as proof of concept.
The proof of concept that aims to meet the needs of the smartphone-oriented generation focuses on a reduction of redundant hard- and software as well as a driver-centered design which has a smooth smartphone integration and a fresh style.