Millennials Don't Care About Car Ownership: Myth or New Reality?

Millennials Don't Care About Car Ownership: Myth or New Reality?

Here we are now, entertain us.” It was the rallying cry of Generation X, a group that grew up rebelling against the seeming shallowness and materialism of the ‘80s with their own revolution of music and fashion. Now we have Generation Y, better known these days as “Millennials” -- and when it comes to the time-worn tradition of young people longing for their first car, many believe the slogan of this generation might be “Let me Uber that, bro.”

Distracted Driving and the Role of In-Vehicle Technology

We live in a time when there have never been more distractions in our vehicles that can prevent us from focusing on the road and the people and objects around us. Whether you’re changing the radio station, checking your phone, looking at your GPS or peering into your digital dashboard, it only takes a second or two of inattention to cause an accident, or worse.

By now, every driver knows the perils of distracted driving. Distracted driving is actually more dangerous than driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, 78 people died in the province in 2013 from distracted driving incidents, compared to 57 fatalities from impaired driving.

Distracted driving is actually more dangerous than driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol

In response to this growing problem, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation is rolling out “The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act”, raising the fine for distracted driving from $280 to  $490, plus the victim surcharge, court costs and three demerit points. Many drivers are unaware that, as of today, they can be pulled over and ticketed just for holding a cellphone in their hand, regardless of whether or not they’re using it at the time.

Of course, distracted driving isn’t just a problem in Ontario or Canada, and the U.S. laws reflect that. Forty-six states have banned text messaging for all drivers, and 14 states prohibit using hand-held cell phones altogether while driving. It’s only a matter a time before hand-held cell phone usage is banned universally in the U.S. and Canada.

With this new Ontario law and with increasing awareness of the dangers of using a cell phone in your hand while driving, now would be a good time to invest in a quality dashboard mount for your phone. Even then, care must be taken both on the part of the drivers and the manufacturers of in-dash electronics to ensure that the quantity and length of distractions - or cognitive load - are kept to a minimum.

A 2007 study conducted at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PDF link) showed that cognitive load - the total amount of mental effort used at a particular moment - can negatively affect driving performance, particularly the ability of drivers to detect safety-critical events. Of course, many factors contribute to distraction by increasing the driver’s cognitive load, including music, grooming, eating, and interacting with passengers. The combination of heightened cognitive load and brief glances away from the road is why we have a distracted driving problem today.

One of the ways to reduce the driver’s cognitive load is by making the in-car visuals legible. You should be able to look at your dashboard or device and read the information you need in the same amount of time it takes you to glance in your rear-view mirror. According to a 2012 study from MIT (PDF link), the choice of typeface and character size will impact its legibility and how long it takes the driver to understand the information. As we all know, an extra second or two not watching the road can make a huge difference.

Every new electronic augmentation in your vehicle brings the possibility of greater distraction and greater risk to you, your passengers, and your surroundings. DRVEN is committed to minimizing that risk while you benefit from the information you receive from a truly connected vehicle.

We understand the importance of providing drivers with useful automotive information in a non-distracting way that reduces cognitive load. Informed by MIT’s Bryan Reimer -- a leading expert in cognitive distraction --  and his studies on how various in-car tasks measure in “total eyes off road time”, our team is defining what an in-vehicle, non-distractive interaction model look, feels, and sounds like. Our goal is to not just make your driving experience more convenient, but safer as well.

 

Scott Carefoot is a digital marketing consultant with 15 years of experience in digital business.

 

Swapping Personal Information for Online Convenience

Swapping Personal Information for Online Convenience

Even before the internet, we were willing to share our personal information for convenience. Anyone over the age of 30 can likely recognize the once familiar sound of their credit card being carbon copied during a retail transaction. Fast forward to the introduction of today's e-commerce and subscription based giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google, transactions of personal information were forced to become much more secure.  Although we value our privacy, we can be too quick to share our information. Some people are still willing to email their credit card information (I really hope you aren’t one of them).

We all need to "hack" our cars

We all need to "hack" our cars

Since the 1950s, Kaizen, the Japanese concept of continuous improvement has routinely been applied to industry, and software and hardware development with generally positive connotations. When similar forms of  ‘change’ or ‘improvement’,are taken on by the consumer or individual, rather than by the product manufacturer, the term ‘-hacker’ is used in a less than positive manner

Your Connected Car Data

Your Connected Car Data

For far too long, drivers have been disconnected from the wealth of diagnostic information available to them from their vehicle. The check engine light and a handful of other unspecific icons were the only ways a driver was warned. For most cars that's a back-lit analog button with two states. When these lights came on, there was almost no way for a driver to easily determine the best specific course of action -

Where did we go wrong?

Where did we go wrong?

When Henry ford imagined the Quadricycle in 1896 which eventually lead to the mass produced Model T in 1908, I doubt he envisioned driving becoming such a mundane task. The automobile was a rich mans toy. Built by hand, one by one, so far out of reach for the common man it was considered the epitome of extreme luxury.  Ford changed all that with the invention of the model T assembly line. Mass production brought the car to the every man. With a billion cars on the road right now, the every man that could have it, did have it.  Driving is now only seen as a luxury by the very few so we try and offset this for the masses by introducing touch screens, streaming music service, satellite navigation and Wi-Fi hot spots to keep our minds fed while we sit in traffic. In a short 139 years we've gone from the first combustion engine to fully electric and hybrid cars. Now why does it feel like among all this progress the more features we pack into the in car user experience the more it feels like we’ve hit a plateau of innovation in this space. 

The Autoshow and the Apple Car

The Autoshow and the Apple Car

The Canadian International Autoshow is winding up its annual mid-winter run this weekend. Its a great time in the automotive industry for innovation. Consumers on the market for a new vehicle have many more options beyond the regular choices of: ‘make, model, colour’ available to them. Alternate fuel vehicles, zero-emissions, plug-in electrics, hybrids, and course - connected vehicles

The Technological Organism

The Technological Organism

Imagine a school of fish or a flock of birds. Notice how they seem to move in a fluid motion almost in unison? How is it that when one fish moves in one direction to avoid a predator or obstacle, the others seem to follow? Each individual animal is after their own preservation - so when one spots a predator or obstacle it moves out of the way, that results in a subtle cue to the rest of the group to do the same. A single action triggered by one animal can result in a large change that benefits the entire group. The flock becomes an organism.