The Rise of In-Car Voice Assistants
Voice recognition technology in cars has been around for nearly two decades. In the early 2000s, IBM and Honda made in-car voice assistants (VA) for navigation, embedding them into car steering wheels. Although these voice assistants could respond to simple commands, they were nowhere near as advanced as the ones you use today.
So, how far have in-car voice capabilities come?
Here, we delve into the rise of in-car voice assistants and their impact on consumer behavior.
The Future of Voice Assistants Is in Cars
Driving requires the use of both hands on the wheel, as well as your full attention, which is why voice technology is ideal for automobiles. Having a voice assistant enables drivers to carry out tasks, which are traditionally accessible through touch and sight, without compromising their safety.
This is mainly why the adoption of in-car voice technology isn’t falling far behind from mobile voice assistants. As of January 2020, 129.7 million US adults have tried voice assistants while driving. Of that number, nearly 84 million continue to use in-car voice technologies.
According to Voicebot, 18- to 29-year-olds are 10.9% less likely to use in-car voice assistants compared to the total population average. However, this might be because younger adults mostly own lower-priced or older car models, which lack onboard assistants. They are also 2.9% more likely to use Apple CarPlay.
Drivers over 60, on the other hand, are 4.1% more likely to access voice assistants through mobile while driving. They are also 7.5% more likely to use the onboard assistant.
The Use Cases of In-Car Voice Assistants
Source: Erin Lawrence
Since in-car voice technology isn’t simply a complementary convenience, its use cases differ greatly from VAs on smart devices. For starters, drivers mostly use voice to answer phone calls, ask for directions, text, stream music, and listen to the radio. They also use it to look for restaurants and shop for products online.
About 49% of users say in-car assistants have improved, while 21.6% say they’ve remained the same. The favorable sentiment might even be driving consumers to consider in-car voice access as a factor in their car-purchasing decisions.
Automakers can clone in-home voice experiences. However, it seems like most of them have no interest in doing so. Sure enough, in-car voice assistants need more smart functions that allow drivers to dictate the pace of the interaction. For safety reasons, on the road, as well as in terms of data privacy, automakers need to tailor experiences for the shared space of a car.
One of the most promising things about voice technology is its limitless potential. Someday, smart functionalities might make it easier for drivers to do more fun activities while driving without putting their lives on the line.
Voice is on the rise. As an entrepreneur, you should optimize your business for voice search as early as now.
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