Effortless application of technology is the goal, Lincoln’s Molly Cosgrove told Paul Myles at the 2018 NAIAS.

Carmakers will have to think long and hard over how they implement future technologies to guard against ‘overwhelming’ consumers.

That’s the opinion of Molly Cosgrove brand manager Lincoln Navigator who spoke to TU-Automotive at 2018 NAIAS in Detroit. She points to Lincoln’s approach at reducing perceived customer anxiety over being provided information duplicated on different displays.

Cosgrove said this is highlighted in the Navigator’s heads-up display, saying: “It’s important that the technology integrates really well within the vehicle and something we strive for at Lincoln is, especially in our heads-up displays, is not just have the same information that appears in the instrument cluster that would be overwhelming. So if we add another display, we take it out of somewhere else so that we are not duplicating the information.”

She said Lincoln’s customer base expects top-draw technological aids to enhance their driving experience. “For Lincoln, technology is really important to a lot of our consumers especially as it relates to safety,” said Cosgrove. “They demand the best safety features so things like adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking are really important but we’re also seeing demand for auto-park especially for something as large as a Navigator to be able to park in and out of tight spaces is extremely helpful.

“We are also seeing increased demand for our heads-up feature, which is the biggest and brightest in the industry and employs augmented reality technology that can alleviate a lot of stress for the driver. This is important for the Lincoln brand to always supply an effortless experience to our customers so whenever we can add these technologies that make things easier and more effortless for people. It’s not just about technology for technology’s sake but to use it in a way to help solve people’s problems.”

Cosgrove added that this approach will continue to be applied as more automated technology is applied to new models on the road to the full driverless experience. She said: “Our mission is to make things both effortless and safe for the user so, for example, in the Nautilus launched at the show, we’ve introduced lane centering technology that works with the adaptive cruise control that allows the vehicle steer between lanes. Obviously, at the level the customer will still need to be engaged with hands on the steering wheel but it will help to relieve some of the anxiety and stress of a long highway ride.

“Naturally, consumers can elect to be in full control but this sort of technology gives them more choices in how they interact with the vehicle.”

Cosgrove concluded that brand image must be relevant to consumers if carmakers are going to exploit the full sales potential of future technologies. “What is important is how those brands incorporate those technologies into the customer experience. So, it’s in the area of systems engineering where brands will differentiate themselves.”

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Connected & Autonomous Vehicles

14 May 2018 - 17 May 2018, Santa Clara, USA

From vehicle electrification and infrastructure to the evolution of ADAS and vehicle automation to enhanced connectivity and new mobility models, no rock will be left unturned.