Some people promise to go on a diet and lose weight, some eat healthier or try to get up earlier, every makes a change for the new year, so what should the car companies do.
Some suggested New Year’s resolutions for car companies in 2016. The times are changing. Don’t get left in the dust.
Simplify: Don’t bother drivers with prompts and options. Make high-tech gadgets smart enough to operate themselves, and easy to switch off.
Fun: Instead of focusing on Nurburgring lap times and max power, make cars that are fun to drive at any speed. Mazda proved it can be done – and on a budget – with the latest MX-5. We don’t have autobahns in Canada; we have traffic and potholes and police. We shouldn’t have to double the speed limit for a car to make us smile.
Services: Don’t be afraid of car-sharing services. Create your own. Offer all types of vehicles. Make it easy and convenient.
Interfaces: Why are they so bad? Steering wheels and pedals work well. But auto makers have had a century to perfect those. Almost everything else needs work. Touchscreens are still horrifically bad, even though Apple is on iPhone 6. Screens are fiddly, ugly and often distracting: Why not try designing them with drivers in mind? Audi’s “virtual cockpit” is headed in the right direction.
Wagons: My parents need a new wagon. A real one, not jacked-up like an SUV. Maybe a mid-size. Make one with all-wheel drive and an optional stick-shift and you’ll have their business. Would someone please build one? Subaru? Volvo? Anybody?
Connectivity: Don’t say it. It doesn’t mean anything. Or, rather, it means different things to everyone. So be specific. If you mean Bluetooth, say that. If you mean you can send maps to your car via Google or car-to-car communication – come up with a snappy name for it.