Issue: Oct 2009


Rising Demand for Comfort and Safety to Play a Pivotal Role in the Evolution of Automotive Human Mac



by Steve Barclay

Numerous applications, ranging from intuitive driver-assist systems to comfort-enhancing applications, are now available in today's car. At the same time, the volatility of fuel prices has been fuelling consumer demand for small cars and, with it, the demand for top-quality content in small cars. Intelligent electronics integration and innovative human machine interface (HMI) will be the key factors in the future development of user-friendly vehicles.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com/), European Automotive Human Machine Interface Market, finds that the market earned revenues of EUR 684.0 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach EUR 1.71 billion by 2015, driven partly by the rising demand for comfort and safety, and partly by vehicle manufacturers' efforts to differentiate their brands. The following technologies are covered in this research: multifunctional switches, steering wheel switches, touch-screen displays, head-up displays, voice-control system as well as central and rear-seat entertainment displays.

"Navigation is the primary hub for most HMI systems including multifunctional switches, voice control and display technologies," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Aswin Kumar. "The entertainment market is growing rapidly, especially with technologies such as Bluetooth, MP3 and portable media. More intelligent systems are expected to be designed and developed in the coming years such as Web based entertainment."

User-friendliness and affordability will be the driving factors in the uptake of these systems because most European consumers are not willing to pay a premium for them.

The most significant challenge is to design and develop a user interface that is simple, accessible, less distracting and affordable. The location of user interface and the type of information directed towards the driver, depending on the driving conditions, are the main issues in the development of an efficient HMI.

"The lack of standards will lead to the development of similar systems with different user interfaces," cautions Kumar. "This will lengthen the learning curve for consumers who have to adapt to the new systems, besides increasing driver distraction due to ineffective interfaces which do not appease customer perceptions and attitudes."

With many nomadic applications entering the automotive space, it is of fundamental importance to sensitise drivers about different interfaces and adopt integrated functionality with appropriate solutions.

"Technological advancements should accompany low-cost solutions, otherwise they will be restricted to the premium vehicles segment," concludes Kumar. "OEMs need to keep pace with industry growth in terms of technology introduction for efficient HMI, especially in the areas of comfort and convenience that have a close relationship with consumer electronics."

Strategic Analysis of European Automotive Human Machine Interface Market is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of Integration of ADAS with Telematics, Strategic Analysis of European Automotive Interior Lighting Market, Strategic Analysis of European Automotive Exterior Lighting Market and, Strategic Analysis of European Market for Low Cost OEM Navigation Systems. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents, please contact Monika Kwiecinska, Corporate Communications, at monika.kwiecinska@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, a brief brochure will be e-mailed to you.

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 35 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com/.

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