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Automotive Connected Cars Features HERE Auto Science of Maps

Connected cars that could tell your friends your ETA

In our focus groups in the U.S. and Germany, participants were unconvinced that social networks like Twitter and Facebook would be a useful addition to connected cars, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still clever ways to take advantage of social platforms in tomorrow’s vehicles.

SocialCar-3

On the contrary, connected cars can offer more features than ever before, and social technology could take the pressure off drivers and make things a lot easier. And unlike social media, which our focus groups rejected due to a lack of value and questions about safety, social technology in general can offer far more practical uses.

Perfect for trip sharing

For starters, it’s brilliant for sharing trip details that can make your life easier. Cars could let close friends or family know where you are during journeys, along with estimated arrival times. Sure, it’s always easy enough to send a text message before you set off, but keeping people updated when you get delayed by traffic isn’t quite so simple – especially without taking time to pull over and get in touch.

Trip sharing would have been useful...I was running late and they kept calling to see where I was

Instead, your car could send relevant details on your behalf to the people you’re meeting, meaning you don’t need to worry about what time you’ll be arriving – your friends will already know. This is exactly the sort of feature that app users from HERE focus groups have shown an interest in, with one female participant explaining:

“Trip sharing would have been so useful to me today. I had to drive downtown to pick up my husband and boys from the train station. I was running late and they kept calling to see where I was, how long ‘til I would be there and what street I was on. If I could have shared my trip with them they could have monitored my progress and known where I was.”

SocialCar-2

Trip sharing isn’t just about letting people know when you’re running late. It can be perfect if you’re driving unfamiliar roads, are travelling alone and want the people you care about to know where you are.

The importance of privacy

Privacy is important, however, and the focus groups have also shown that drivers don’t want to share this sort of information with just anyone. Instead, it makes a lot more sense to focus on connecting with a tight social circle. Sharing information only with the people you trust helps to eradicate concerns.

Calendar integration would have been useful as she arrived before I did

It also makes a difference what information you’re actually sharing. Drivers are concerned about journeys being monitored, with the desire to control exactly what’s being shared. With the restriction of social contacts, and more detailed communication around controlling information, these worries could easily be soothed.

Calendar integration

Calendar integration is another area where connected cars could shine, and it could work perfectly alongside trip sharing. As an example, another one of our focus group members pointed out:

“Today, I was meeting with a friend for some coffee in a neighborhood unfamiliar to the both of us. It (calendar integration) would have been useful today, as she arrived at our destination point before I did.”

SocialCar-4

It potentially means you won’t even need to think about dropping friends a line before you leave your home – your car already knows where you’re going because of your calendar, and it could send a text on your behalf to let your friend know when you’ll be arriving, and their car can offer similar services. You’ll never be left wondering where the person you’re meeting actually is.

So while people may want to distance themselves from traditional social media while driving, it’s clear there are still useful ways that connected cars can integrate social platforms.

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