Why Automakers Can’t Deliver the Connected Car Experience Consumers Expect: Timing is Everything (Part 4)

020f777By Jay Giraud, CEO, Mojio

This post is the last in a four-part series, the first, second, and third parts can be viewed at the respective links.

Changing behavior via smart devices

The connected and IoT experience has a bright and bold future ahead. Although the Silicon Valley mantra that one must never build software that intends to change behavior has dominated the industry, there’s a new wave coming of sensor-based devices that are redefining the way people experience the things and world around them.

In the summer of 2013, we here at Mojio conducted a three month, thousand-person trial and campaign for safe driving to test whether increasing driver behavior awareness would improve driver safety and their ability to save money on gas. After a driver behavior profile was created with each participant, they received tailored, simple and quick tips on a weekly basis of how they could individually improve their driving and overall fuel efficiency.

IFTTT_banner_final2After completing the trial, the team found that during the 2nd and 3rd months of the program, the test group overall saved about 15% more on their monthly fuel bill, with peaks as high as 35% in fuel savings. For the average driver, this amounts to about $50-$60 off their monthly gas bill. These results led to the conclusion that awareness is key when trying to encourage a changed or improved action. By increasing the participants’ awareness of their driving patterns where they were otherwise inattentive, they were then able to recognize these patterns as they happened in the moment and consciously make a behavioral shift. This is something that has also been seen as a key influencer in the fitness wearables space, and will more than likely be a relevant game changer across the mobile and personal healthcare industries.

Timing is everything

We can’t discuss connecting cars without also talking about distracted driving. Today, it is widely understood and advertised that cell phone use while driving is a leading cause for car accidents. So, how can a multi-application platform for connected cars even be proposed you ask? There are a few key items here to consider:

  1. Drivers are already using between 1 and 5 applications while driving. These apps range from navigation, music control, parking finders and messaging to name a few. It is extremely distracting to search for an app while driving, let alone using the app itself where inputs are made by flicking, tapping and clicking, requiring a substantial amount of attention.
  2. There are four contexts in which the connected driver operates in, where in each context, drivers are left with a series of unanswered and ambient questions:
    • Before driving: Does my car have enough gas after my son/daughter drove it last night? Where am I going exactly? What route should I take to get there? Is my car in good running order?
    • While driving: What’s the safest/fastest/easiest route? Will I quickly find parking? I’m running late, is my contact aware of my ETA? How is my driving? What is driving actually costing me?
    • After driving: How much did that trip cost? How far did I drive? Should I expense this trip?
    • When not driving: Is my son/daughter/grandma driving safely? Where is my spouse? Is this a safe time to text him/her? What route did I take to X destination and how can I get back there?

Each of these contexts exist assuming the trip ran smoothly; no accidents, getting stuck in traffic for hours, parking or towing problems.

A solution is needed to address these questions for motorists and deliver a marketplace of geo-spatial applications that wirelessly connect individuals to their cars and to service providers they trust. It is important to ensure that these connected services are compatible with all the makes and models projected to be on the road for the next 10-15 years, while simultaneously becoming an embedded platform for the new, technologically advanced cars of the future.

Whether it’s in the connected car space, fitness wearables or any other Internet of Things environment, tomorrow’s applications must take full advantage of the data available across the internet at large. Companies both currently existing and those emerging into the IoT space must learn how to deliver timely, relevant and intuitive solutions for their users’ problems by becoming contextually aware of their needs and surroundings in real-time. This is where the future for connecting cars lies – providing the right information at the right time, without distracting drivers from their primary task – getting from point A to point B safely.

Conclusion

It’s our belief that having direct access to a driver’s daily contextual experiences, in conjunction with retrieving the data from their vehicle’s internal system will give us the ability to provide the next generation of autonomous cars the opportunity to become smart enough to help their drivers have a truly connected, intuitive and seamless driving experience. That way maybe, just maybe, we can finally provide drivers with the freedom and peace of mind they have been promised all along in the car commercials.