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Drivers feel disconnected without their mobile devices: Study

Consumers feel disconnected without their mobile devices, according to G2 Marketing.

The research investigated how communications and entertainment devices are used in vehicles. Qualitative Research found that the use of electronics in vehicles is automatic in today?s world.

?The qualitative research we conducted showed overwhelming evidence that fewer electronic devices in the vehicle is not foreseeable,? said Gretchen Gehrett, president of G2 Marketing, which conducted the study, and member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, Charlottesville, VA.

?The study participants only wanted more ? more capabilities, more convenience, and more consolidation,? she said. "Cell phones and music players are the standard devices across all segments.?

The research is commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association.
Mobile study

G2 Marketing conducted the experiment in five days with 40 adults. Participants were given different activities and questions for each day and were prohibited from using their mobile devices while in their vehicles.

The participants included four lifestyles: parents with children, parents with teens, road warriors (on the road for work beyond commuting to and from the office) and young adults ranging from ages 18-34.

G2 Marketing saw that some of the participants felt deprived and punished that they were not able to use their mobile devices, while others felt it was refreshing, but would not adopt it as a change in personal lifestyle.

For teenagers, being in the vehicle without their mobile device was unthinkable.

?Drivers who use cell phones are aware they are not paying full attention to driving while speaking on the phone, and they feel uneasy about it,? Ms. Gehrett said.

?The best solution they see is to add hands-free capabilities (Bluetooth) to vehicles,? she said.

?Many wanted wireless capability permanently installed in their vehicles, using the installed speakers, and felt this would allow them to pay more attention to the road while still using the phone.?

Driving safely
The study also found that consumers who do not use their mobile devices in the vehicle avoid it for safety concerns.

Additionally participants felt that if restrictions were imposed then they would switch to hands-free devices, but would not give up their handsets completely.

G2 Marketing claims that drive-time has become work-time or stay-in-touch-time via phone calls.

?Today?s in-vehicle environment reflects the societal trend of being given exactly what we want, when we want it,? Ms. Gehrett said. ?In our society, customized tools cater to our individual tastes and everything we want is right at our fingertips.

?The innovative qualitative research technique we used, Immersive Research, allowed us to dig deep enough to understand that each person in the vehicle can easily envelop himself within a cocoon of mobile devices that get rid of the need to interact with others around us,? she said.

?The trend is now entrenched into our lifestyles, and consumers desire new capabilities that continue to make their environment personal to them.?