Vehicle as a Third Space: US & UK In-Cabin Report

The role of the personal vehicle has been evolving quickly over the past few years. Consumers are no longer viewing their vehicle as something that simply gets them from point A to point B, but rather as a third space.

In a recent study, DTS uncovered that the personal vehicle is rivaling or outpacing other personal third spaces, which refers to a physical or virtual environment where one can relax or unwind. As the importance of the vehicle as a third space grows, consumers want more from their dashboard, valuing rich, comprehensive, personalized and discoverable content, including video.

The study, which was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,021 consumers who own/lease a vehicle (17+) across the UK and USA between September 29, 2023 – October 3, 2023,  found that 67% of UK adults say that in-car entertainment is of the utmost importance. Similarly, in the US, 71% of those between 25 to 34 say they want their built-in vehicle entertainment experience to be more than a mirror of their smart phones.

The report further explores the entertainment and features consumers want in today’s vehicle cabin, including personalization and how video in the car impact purchase intent.

Top US Takeaways:

  • 70% of respondents between 25 and 34, and over 50% overall, view their vehicle as a third space.
  • 67% of those between the ages of 17 and 44 also say that having high-quality video capability in the dashboard/screens in a specific vehicle model/brand would make them more likely to purchase that vehicle.
  • 70% of all respondents say that an in-vehicle, built-in entertainment experience that automatically personalizes to their particular tastes/interests is important, with the largest number saying it is very important because they ‘don’t have to fiddle with controls when they are driving.’

Top UK Takeaways:

  • Nearly half (42%) of UK adults insist in-car entertainment systems need to go beyond being a mirror of their smartphone
  • High-quality video capabilities are a deciding factor in vehicle purchases for over a third (37%) of consumers
  • More than half (58%) express the importance of having details such as album cover images and biographical information displayed on the dash increasing to 75% of those aged 35-44 and 70% aged 25-34

Access the full US and UK reports at the below links:

US: From In-Vehicle Entertainment to Integrated In-Cabin Experience

UK: The Evolution of In-Car Experiences