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back to article Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

Modern yoof would love to be driving around in tech-loaded green hipster vehicles - they just can't really afford it, according to a new study. A Deloitte survey of over 23,000 folks worldwide between the ages of 19 to 36 found that although a lot of them weren't as bothered about car ownership as previous generations had been, …

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Bronze badge

Didn't Some one say....

It's all about the platform.

Seriously though, you would need to get the motor, smart phone and auto accessory industries to agree about standard interfaces, which isn't just putting USB into a car. You would also need to ensure that the user's device choices were safe in a driving environment. Checking out your music library whilst driving isn't safe. Watching a movie on your smart phone isn't safe, and so on.

My current Golf likes iPhones and has simple controls that allow you to use it with the inbuilt CD/Radio and Phone system without taking your hands of the steering wheel. The phone is locked away in a special compartment, so you can't fiddle with it whilst driving. This is sensible, but you can't use anything other than an Apple iPhone or iPod. The car also locks out a lot of it's own configuration functions when the vehicle is moving, so extending that to selecting songs would be a good move.

I doubt it would be too difficult to do this for all smart phones. Anything more sophisticated would be distracting and dangerous.

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Re: Didn't Some one say....

I got a 32G USB stick hooked into me Passat that I can control perfectly well via the steering wheel mounted knobs and buttons, including skipping around folders and songs, etc. You don't need an iThingy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Didn't Some one say....

I have the current Golf and a Win Phone 8, while it can connect using bluetooth, the car can't offer half of the features that the phone gives. It can play/pause/skip, etc, but you can't select what to play or select podcasts from the the steering wheel. It also doesn't support reading out text messages or speech recognition for sending text messages. That said, it does support hands free phoning and selection of who to call from the steering wheel.

This apparently the fault of the car, rather than the phone because all of these features are available in my "weekend/summer car" which has a generic dab radio with bluetooth.

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Gold badge

Re: Didn't Some one say....

which isn't just putting USB into a car.

Dead right. The correct way to go is with Bluetooth which a) works for everything, b) has all the track selection / control stuff inherent in the standard, c) saves fannying around with wires and plugs and d) provides handsfree phone use as a side effect.

The only mystery is that if this works perfectly well using a cheap, WinCE based, Chinese touchscreen head unit (it does), why the hell do the car manufacturers have such a problem getting it right?

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Re: Didn't Some one say....

While I agree with most of the comments above I think there are at least two other problems with the survey:

1. I don't think many normal people respond to surveys, on-line or otherwise. There were some people trying to do a survey in the shopping centre at lunch time and most people were refusing to have anything to do with it.

2. They're kids or at least very young, what they imagine they want now wand what they can afford don't match up and by the time they can afford it they'll want something else.

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Dream on, tech hipsters

"They don't want to be told which proprietary system they'll be stuck with either, with 57 per cent saying they wanted to be able to customise the tech after they buy. "This is a great opportunity for car makers and dealerships to reinvent themselves," said Joe Vitale, Deloitte's global automotive sector leader"

I think Mr Vitale forgot to add "but which they'll completely fail to grasp, instead coming up with a range of half baked proprietary solutions, or locking into specific phone platforms without due regard for IT security, durability, support, and in some likely cases with the most abominable functionality seen on IT devices in two or three decades."

The automotive industry is addicted to a business model that makes minimal (or even nil) profits on basic vehicles, and then seeks to reverse that self inflicted wound through over-priced options. The last thing they want is non-proprietary systems, or users customising (ie "upgrading") the tech themselves. The auto makers also need to think who owns the customer experience - if the experience of using the new Toyota Priapus owes more to Apple, Google, or some other software house, then the car makers are headed towards the sort of commoditised world of pain already inhabited by most mobile handset makers.

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For almost all driving, the speed of the car is no longer limited by the engine. It's limited by road speed limits (enforced by speed cameras) and by the driver in front of you.

In my experience, the faster the theoretical performance of the car, the more frustrating it is to drive in real world conditions. A Ferrari stuck in rush hour traffic must be an excruciating experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Porsche

There is an exception to your comment - most Porsches can be used as daily commuters because Porsche have paid attention to low speed driving as well as high. I imagine this is why Porsche is almost a volume car manufacturer compared to Ferrari or Lamborghini.

Otherwise I completely agree. Anyone who suffers London traffic or the M5/M6 junction on a regular basis and who has a hybrid wouldn't want anything else, because of the ability to travel perfectly smoothly at speeds in the 0-15mph region, and because the mid range torque is like a Diesel (due to the electric motor coming in at full power) while the noise and vibration is almost nonexistent.

Youth of today, what do they know? Quite a lot, actually, they didn't reach their teens in the era of Clarksonmobiles.

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Anonymous Coward

the faster the theoretical performance of the car, the more frustrating it is to drive in real world conditions

Actually, no. OK; Ferraris are annoying in traffic because they're so noisy, but any powerful car is a delight in traffic and actually makes it LESS likely you develop a dangerous need to speed like some fools who weave through rush hour traffic to gain 2 precious car lengths over the whole of the journey in exchange for frankly idiotic levels of risk (unfortunately mainly to others). You know it's there when you need it, but you don't *need* the needle near the red to enjoy the drive. It's fun, but you can decide at leasure when you switch from civilized speeds to those you can only do on a circuit or a relatively empty German Autobahn (note "empty", otherwise you're an idiot IMHO). I rather enjoy the V8 under my bonnet, but I've also been zooming around in a Lexus hybrid over the last few days, and I think I may get one myself, simply for the clever way it all works.

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weave through rush hour traffic to gain 2 precious car lengths

ah! you mean bicyclists :-D

saw a great sticker on the back of a builders truck the other day

'caution, this vehicle sometimes turns left'

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Just ....

"More than half of them want some sort of technical entertainment on board and the same number would like to be able to hook their smartphone up and use it from the dashboard."

... don't let them on the public roads.

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Devil

Good, good

Here's to hope the sports car drivers become outdated has-beens!

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Re: Good, good

Why?

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Why does this....

...just smack of a survey carried out in large cities?

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Re: Why does this....

Because it claims people are quite capable of getting around on public transport?

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News

Manufucturers have known for a couple of years that the generation X & Y increasingly see personal cars as a liability. At the same time they happen to be facing a set of problems exactly analogous to Big Tech: vastly improved capital efficiency has delivered market saturation, overcapacity, and redundant performance. Just as Intel has to convince us that we need a second supercomputer on our desks, BMW needs us to believe that we need 300bhp. Turns out we don't.

Car manufacturers' response has been 1. sell to the parents; 2. sell to emerging markets yet to understand the futility of universal car ownership; 3. deal reluctantly with the problem with better tech: baubles like ICE and GPS, inefficient hybrids, tech for OEM car sharing; 4. try to shut factories.

Big Auto doesn't have the answer yet, because a generation has to die for the new plants to grow, as it were. Some piquant lessons here for hi tech.

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Thumb Up

"personal cars [are] a liability"

Yup. Just try getting one fixed around here. Dear sweet jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick.

I won't bore folks with my experiences doing that, but I will say it was enough to just crash my car and get a couple motorcycles which I can maintain and repair myself.

I'd be interested in whatever economy model Tesla comes out with, but that's because I'd know it would never get near the 'tards at the local wrench monkey cage. Icon for what they have up their ass.

Oh yeah, and I want the government to help pay for it too! Sure, I'll take whatever green incentives they're dishing out! (despite being near 50 and far from being "yoof")

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Holy logical leaping opinionated journalism batman

"Typically of no-account, silver-spoon yoof though, they want the government to help them pay for it – with 58 per cent saying they'd support schemes that reward folks for choosing alternative engines."

Way to lay your own conceits bare about the "yoof" as you put it.

I'd like to point out how "with 58 per cent saying they'd support schemes that reward folks for choosing alternative engines." in now way indicates proof of conjecture, correlation or causation with "Typically of no-account, silver-spoon yoof though, they want the government to help them pay for it".

Poor or not, if it was possible to buy a product with help from someone else, even a silent partner (in this case the government) for absolutely no return, wouldn't you go for it?

If this question was "Are you a money grubbing, free loader who wishes the government paid for everything" and 58 % answered yes, then I'd not begrduge you your connection.

In this case though, I will call you out on either your massive prejudice towards young people or your clearly faulty reasoning.

This is of course if your reaction to the survey response wasn't automatically "Well, I'm a high functioning, non-youthful pillar of society. I recognise this question as a trap to identify who's a silver spoon, no-account yoof. Moreover, I realise that an answer in the affirmative here would be frankly irresponsible to a sustainable society and indicate a flagrant disregard for a functioning economy". Which it sounds like it was. If so, well then you're probably as much of a ______ as I suspect.

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WTF?

Since when did...

19-thirtysomethings count as yoof?? I was always under the impression that said yoof were below voting age..

In this new classification, I guess I'm a yoof as well then?? WTF? Frankly I will argue with the research, it's bollocks, I own a hybrid but hanker after something more decidedly environmentally unfriendlier that goes like a bat out of hell, needs to carry my progeny safely though...

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Coat

Re: Since when did...

Since the age of the average reg hack hit fifty...

Frankly I will argue with the research, it's bollocks, I own a hybrid but hanker after something more decidedly environmentally unfriendlier that goes like a bat out of hell, needs to carry my progeny safely though...

Exactly. Because a study of 23,000 people could not possibly represent your generation better that the opinion of one. Honestly, I don't get why these pollsters don't quit wasting their time and just call you whenever they have a question.

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Re: Since when did...

"I was always under the impression that said yoof were below voting age"

People under voting age, or age of majority if you will, generally don't get to choose and almost universally can't afford a working* automobile that wasn't made between 1980 and 1995. This also assumes that said demographic is universally allowed to drive in the surveyed area and in the States that varies from 16 to 21 for an unrestricted license and 14 to 17 for a restricted license.

*The definition of working being a direct function of said yoof's mechanical ability.

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Gadgets are king

Having sifted through a lot of car reviews recently, one thing that stuck out when (say) reading about the new Auris was that while it was meant to be extremely reliable, good to drive etc, younger buyers are typically getting rid of their cars after three years anyway, so they don't care about reliability. Time and time again people said they wanted more gadgets (e.g. cruise control, steering stiffness adjustment, etc) rather than reliability, which was seen as boring.

I don't understand this, and think reliability over any terrain the car is sold as being designed for (e.g. hatchback on roads, 4x4 on slippery mud and bumpy tracks) is really the only test of build quality. Everything else is just marketing and cosmetics.

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Re: Gadgets are king

reliability ... is really the only test of build quality

The trouble is, most of today's cars are pretty reliable and durable. Without the year-coded* registration plates, you can usually only differentiate a 10-year-old car from a 2-year-old one if you have some expertise in the subtle styling changes from year to year.

Cars are now such a mature technology that the only way to differentiate models within a price range is by additional features. IT features are attractive because they have very low run-on cost.

*Can anybody explain why the British Government supports a numbering scheme that has no other purpose than to boost new-car envy?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gadgets are king - explanation

Yes, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, aka lobbyists, and Thatcher's oil millionaire husband getting her on board the "great car economy" - remember, if you take a bus after the age of 26 you're a failure in life.

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Re: new-car envy?

I thought the point of it was to perpetuate that whole 'that was the week' sketch with the 2 ronnies and cleese.

He drives an 07 so i look down on him..

I drive an 'x' plate, I know my place

pretty pathetic really, but it does drive the car industry (2 christmases a year!)

so what do I know

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Re: Gadgets are king - explanation

Even the Guardian thought that Thatcher quote was apocryphal.

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Headmaster

Re: new-car envy?

that whole 'that was the week' sketch with the 2 ronnies and cleese

Point of information: it was The Frost Report.

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You're not going to like this...

...but when such a large portion of people asked about their opinion on vehicles do not actually have the money to buy one, what's the actual value of the poll ?

They may very well claim their desire to want a 50K 0-emission vehicle, but I wonder what they will buy once they've managed to scrape together that money by hard graft.

And I'll bet they'll go for the 20K Golf diesel and spend the rest on their mortgage, putting their kids through school and a family holiday or two.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You're not going to like this...

They claim to want hybrids. There is very little price difference now between a hybrid and a Golf diesel, and diesels are getting extremely expensive to repair as a result of all the gear needed to get to Euro 5.

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Hybrid bike

The obvious answer seems to be electric assist bicycles. They could be very geeky high tech, very efficient, good for the environment, and an excellent way to travel in areas with good weather. I've seen many attempts at making them but they're still burdened with obsolete tech that doesn't excite anyone enough to make the purchase. They need to lose the cheap heavy batteries, lose the bulky clamps and adaptors, they need variable regenerative braking, they need some vibration dampening, they need detachable storage, and they need theft protection. Public specifications would be a big help too so people can do their own hacks. Not only is that easy geek cred and comfort to buyers, but it's getting free R&D from the public.

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Re: Hybrid bike

If they have motors, then regulate them like motorbikes. Registration, insurance, driver's licence, actually obeying the road rules.

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