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Is Your Vehicle the New Third Space?

New study by Xperi and DTS reports 75% of Gen Z says yes

DTS, a subsidiary of Xperi, released a new report that discusses the increasing importance of the vehicle as a third space, as well as uncovers drivers’ preferred in-cabin features and functionality.

While Xperi is best known in the radio industry for HD Radio and DTS AutoStage, those are part of a larger Xperi corporate strategy that also involves in-cabin sensing and other in-car technologies.

The report, titled “The Vehicle as a Third Space,” is based on results from a national consumer Caravan survey among 844 U.S. adults who currently own or lease a vehicle.

According to an Xperi press release, the report finds that 75% of Gen Z drivers (ages 18 to 25 years) and 49% of drivers overall are more likely to view their vehicle as a third space today, compared to pre-COVID.

Xperi said, “A third space was defined to survey respondents as a place outside of work and the house, a place to relax, enjoy hobbies, escape the stresses of work – a coffee shop, library, park, or vehicle; the first space as home; and the second space as workplace.”

The Vehicle as a Third Space Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

“Consumers, especially younger drivers, are moving from viewing their vehicle as simple transportation toward seeing it as a space where they can relax and escape,” said Jeff Jury, Xperi senior vice president and general manager. “This demands technology that can merge safety with a vehicle cockpit that meets their entertainment, comfort, personalization and wellness needs. It is the future of the connected car industry.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Safety, comfort, and radio/audio rank highest as vehicle third space design priorities,
  • 69% of drivers are interested in receiving health and diagnostic updates from their vehicle,
  • And 91% of Millennials and Gen Z are interested in mood-sensing technology to adjust in-vehicle audio content.

Read the full report here.