This year will include a car purchase for many consumers, and to provide the best customer experience to those who walk onto your showroom floor, it’s important to know the latest trends, gadgets, and technology advances car shoppers can look forward to in 2016 and beyond.
In the automotive industry today, there’s more potential than ever because of the technological advances that are quickly shaping the future of the industry. Your dealership professionals can share exciting features that are beginning to appear in a wide variety of new vehicles as a way of enhancing driver and customer experiences. Sharing these features is a great way to keep shoppers in the loop and connect with them regarding updates they may be looking for in their next vehicles.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Owner’s Manual
The virtual owner’s manuals is becoming the norm, making it easier to access an owner’s manual online or via a car maker’s app and allowing drivers to avoid lugging around, losing, or trashing a paper manual. Just recently, virtual manuals have taken a step toward augmented reality. This type of owner’s manual allows a driver to get more information on a specific car feature or part just by pointing the manual at it.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… In a new vehicle, or when drivers are simply trying to figure out a feature that may be foreign to them—like programming a radio station, adjusting a mirror, or wondering what the new light means on the dashboard—drivers are able to avoid flipping through a paper manual or searching through an app. Instead, they’re able to effortlessly get answers by pointing their smartphones or tablets directly at specific parts they need help with and detailed content, videos, guides, and more will come up instructing them on how to use it.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
As a tech-forward and innovative brand, GM introduced Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to 14 of its Chevy models this year. They carry both Android and Apple options as to not seclude a substantial part of the smartphone market by forcing a choice between one or the other. It shouldn’t be long before other automakers follow suit, installing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as part of their new tech features.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… Many current infotainment systems are fairly complex and differ from automaker to automaker. This causes drivers the frustration of having to teach themselves how to use their system and start from scratch each time they upgrade or switch vehicles. With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay designed to take the place of a car’s preprogrammed software, drivers can quickly and effortlessly sync systems with their phones regardless of make or model—leveling the playing field across the board.
Wi-Fi is a common, and even necessary, feature in many households today, but one of the newest and biggest technology improvements is the inclusion of Wi-Fi capabilities in vehicles. Although drivers are generally able to access internet on their smartphones without Wi-Fi, connecting in a vehicle may save on data usage, can allow continuous and instant updates to software and devices, guarantees a better connection than Bluetooth when using technologies such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and much more.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… Many generations today demand to stay connected and seek the ability to communicate, work, entertain themselves, and connect whenever they want and wherever they may be. Having access to Wi-Fi in a vehicle allows instantaneous updates, streaming, and constant connection for drivers.
Gesture Control Systems
This year, BMW rolled out a never-before-seen feature in their 7-Series that gives drivers the ability to control parts of the vehicle with body motions. For example, the stereo, HVAC, or Bluetooth could be accessed and controlled with a standard gesture via the iDrive 5.0 system. Although this feature is only standard in the 7-Series, it’s a feature drivers can look forward to more regularly in the future.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… New features like gesture control allow drivers full control and personalization of their vehicles without even having to press a button or speak. They can look forward to orchestrating their surroundings in new and innovative ways right now and in the future.
Both LED lighting and headlight automation are beginning to emerge. LED headlights offer drivers longer-lasting and brighter lights, while automatic high beams give drivers increased vision at night and the guarantee to turn off high beams when unnecessary.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… LED headlights save drivers money, last longer, and improve vision and appearance when driving. LED headlights never actually burn out, meaning drivers aren’t stuck driving around with one bulb out until it’s replaced or suddenly having to purchase a new bulb. The automatic headlights mean drivers aren’t forced to turn high beams on and off; instead, when automation is on, the high beams illuminate on dark roads and dim when needed.
With features like smart-start, cruise control, gesture control, and more, automation technology in general is taking huge leaps and progressing quickly. Staying up-to-date on the newest automation features is beneficial to drivers, and presenting new technology that will lead to more advanced automation in the future is a great way to get consumers excited about their car buying experience now and for years to come. Vehicles like the Mercedes S-Class now have advanced features that allow for an active parking assistant and a cruise control so advanced it nearly drives itself. The BMW 7-Series contains a feature that even allows drivers to park their vehicles from outside the car.
Drivers want to know about this feature because… Having the ability to fully see behind a vehicle while backing up, having a park assist that gets it right the first time, or being able to cruise down the interstate without worry are all features many drivers are excited to take advantage of because it makes their lives and overall driving experiences easier and more efficient. Even though there are features emerging that are currently only available in one make and model or in limited makes and models, the continuing need for advanced technology suggests there’s a high potential drivers will soon see these features incorporated more widely in the near future.
The future of automotive technology is bright and advanced. When you keep your customers in the know by offering up new technology and sharing the latest features that are making appearances this year and in the years to come, you’ll emerge as a leader in the industry and become a trusted resource for shoppers.
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