Driver Culture Linked to Age, Adaptability, Adoptability

Here is a great example of the time lag in technology launch to adoption: Driver Culture

Early adopters always drown out the negative, they are normally the most active in social media to positively respond to new technology, just because its new, regardless of usability or “glitches”.

Over time,  as the consumer base expands more negative feedback filters into mainstream.  The touch system has been around for years, Fords option since 2009.  It was  and is an attempt at capturing the IPOD / IPAD consumer.

The article attached highlights some of the issues with the adoption of technology. Its an interesting dichotomy.  The author (after quick google search) is in his late 40’s, former writer for Christian Science Monitor and generally writes with a conservative opinion about alternative energy.  However the demographic Ford is targeting is not the author.  The Younger Demographic (Gen Y, next gen’rs) have already adopted this technology, have limited “memory” of things like knobs/crank windows..etc.

Note, the older demographic is more “tactile”, in the article he even says “feel for the knob…etc”.   The new gen’s are more visually integrated.

Today’s truck driver/ average age is:  44.4yrs (Study)  As we introduce new widgets and gadgets we need to be aware of our audience.

– Mechanics like to “set Ride height”, they do not want to be replaced by a computer, “hand me that crescent wrench…” (Tactile, hands on, expertise and experience)

–  however a late 20’s, early 30’s mechanic, considers the computer as another “tool” in the box, “hey hand me that Dell 4100x dual processor with the 8 pin deutsche…” (we have computers that do that)

An even greater example of being on a “precipice” of technology adoption is the IShift (Automatic shifting).  New drivers love it, but the older driver also likes it,  it lets them drive longer…  we need to keep this in mind in our development efforts. Meet the needs of both demographics (ISHIFT), or target the up and coming gen? or focus on the avg driver 44.4.

The “guard” is changing.  Exciting times to be in the Trucking Industry.

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