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In-car cameras, putting pets first… Biggest automotive trends

2018-02-12 09:42

Image: Youtube

Charlen Raymond

San Francisco - The automotive world is constantly changing as automakers continue to invent new technology and improve features for vehicles. Google has published some of the biggest automotive trend among consumers in 2017.

The “trend” that topped consumers’ list was onboard (in-car) cameras (i.e dashcams). Given the social media-driven world we live in and that many of us regularly post aspects of our lives online, it’s only natural that this trend would filter down to motorists.

We've also included global automotive trends in Germany, Japan and the USA at the end of this article.

More popular than autonomous driving

One of the advantages of onboard cameras is that they can serve as evidence when altercations, such as crashes, occur.

Maybe not yet as popular in South Africa, onboard cameras are trending in many countries such as US, Germany and Japan, reports Google. So popular are onboard cameras that the search volume for these devices proved three times more popular than searches for autonomous driving. Consumers are realizing the benefits of having these devices fitted to their cars.

The purposes of onboard cameras go further than just recording the road ahead. It is important for consumers that all the angles are captured, including the interior. According to Google’s data, the search trend for “all-direction” cameras saw a 100% year-over-year growth in the USA, Germany, and Japan. Though it is popular, the sub-trend suggests that consumers do not want their onboard cameras to stand out like a sore toe.

The cameras need to merge with the vehicle, "without being obtrusive and noticeable". A third aspect that rates highly is the fact that these devices need to be smart and be able to do more than just record videos; of the more popular features include high definition (HD), night vision, motion activation, and GPS - the latter proving most in-demand.

Support and surveillance

Two main reasons why onboard cameras are proving popular are because the technology offers both support and surveillance to consumers. It acts as an extra pair of eyes on the road and it offers peace of mind in case of a crash. Regarding the support, manufacturers have also implemented this camera technology in cars. Some advanced models are capble of "reading" the road ahead, as well as scanning the vehicle's immediate surroundings, and can warn motorists of any road dangers. 

The other notable feature is surveillance of vehicles. Cameras, in tandem with car alarms, are pivotal in scaring off a potential robbing seeing that it offers greater surveillance and capturing of any and all incidents.

Some South African motorists are installing cameras to their vehicle and it won’t be long before the technology becomes mainstream.

Global trends

Americans are re-defining family; Consumers in the US are bringing their pets along for the ride, and prioritizing the needs of their new passengers.

While consumers in Germany and Japan are also searching for pet-related vehicle equipment and accessories, the average American was 36X as likely to search than the average person in Germany and 10X as likely than the average person in Japan.

Google said: "When it comes to in-vehicle-related search trends, Americans are putting their pets first. Dog- and pet-related rising search queries are particularly prominent across the top trending lists in the US when compared to the other two markets.

"Pets are like family now and people’s search interest reflects that. What opportunities does that unlock for OEMS to better design for a broader definition of family, one that puts pets in the passenger seat?"

Germany - Transitioning to Digital

DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is top of mind for German consumers right now, following a 2010 country-wide initiative to convert all radio and TV signals to digital. Even though the country-wide initiative launched in2010, the DAB search trend is experiencing sustained year-over-year growth at a rate of 41% in Germany.

Google said: "In Germany, DAB, or Digital Audio Broadcasting, is a top trending search term. Interest is likely driven by a country-wide initiative launched in 2010 to convert all radio and television services to digital in the coming years.

"With DAB being top of mind for consumers right now, how might auto manufacturers activate around this interest (e.g., highlight DAB technology in your vehicle and the benefits of it)?"

Japan – A home away from home

Top rising searches in Japan indicate a consumer desire to customize car interiors for comfort and aesthetics. From seat covers and car curtains to fridges and humidifiers, we see that consumers in Japan are turning their cars into little homes away from home.

Google said: "The average person in Japan is almost 2X as likely to search for customization than the average person in the US, and almost 5X times as likely as the average person in Germany.

"What opportunities are there for auto manufacturers to consider the car as not just a vehicle for driving but as an extension of one’s home?"

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