Digital Owner’s Manual for the car

Digital Owner's Manual for the car 

Our cars and their functions are becoming ever more complex – but new operating systems make dealing with the additional functions comparatively easy: voice or gesture control work almost intuitively.

Hardly anyone uses the manual

At least with the method “Trial and Error” one always somehow always reaches the goal. The instruction manual in the car, which is put by the manufacturers already by the law in the glove compartment, looks – at least as long as he has no breakdown – hardly anyone through.

The carmakers know that too. To be sure, they pass on part of the responsibility to the sellers, who should give a thorough briefing at the consultation and at the latest when handing over the car. But at the same time they are thinking of how to get the classic user manual out of the glove box and make it more interesting – with digitization.

Augmented reality and smartphone apps

That manuals about at Mercedes, VW or Audi are also online or delivered on a DVD, which you can look at home on the calculator is nothing new anymore. The integration into the infotainment systems is also commonplace: Anyone who scrolls through the menus at BMW will quickly find a sub-item in the “Vehicle” section where all the relevant switches and controls appear on the screen. If you tap this, the function will be explained to you. In the meantime, however, many manufacturers are continuing to use the interaction, using augmented reality and smartphone apps to familiarize their customers with the function of the vehicles.

Mercedes, for example, has developed the utility Ask Mercedes, according to spokesman Georg Walthart for the compact such as the A-Class. There, a so-called chatbot explains who the Mercedes boss is or how to save fuel. If you direct the camera of the smartphone to a part of the cockpit, menu items appear on the screen, under which the corresponding descriptions and explanations are stored.

Car Manual: The mobile mobile app

Opel relies increasingly on video tutorials, explains press spokesman Patrick Munsch. Instead of studying manuals, many people today would rather watch explanatory videos on the Internet. Especially in the increasingly complex infotainment systems that offer passengers more extensive vehicle functions. “We want to ensure that our customers are not only able to understand the basics of our technologies, but to tap the full potential,” explains Munsch. These “know how!” Videos can be found on the company’s website and on Youtube, as well as on the mobile mobile app MyOpel, or they run in the dealer showroom.

Experts like Hans-Georg Marmit from the KÜS expert organization welcome such activities: “The more complex the vehicles become, the more important is safe and reliable operation,” says the spokesman from Losheim am See. “And with hardly anyone bothering to leaf through paper, new infotainment forms can be a promising way of communicating content.”

Do not rely on your own intuition

To escape all instruction and to rely on their own intuition, Marmit advises the motorists from urgently. “In the end, the driver is responsible for the correct and safe operation of his car, as he should already know about the function.” Important operating and safety information should therefore be best studied before the first drive, the expert advises: “And while resting in the parking lot or at home on the sofa. »

Online editions, augmented reality apps, video tutorials – although the automakers strive for alternatives to manual on paper. But even if brands like VW require more than 40 translations according to the press department, are heavy-handed and take up valuable space in the glove compartment, the printed instructions will probably remain with us for quite a while, says Marmit. For Brussels once again stated in the Official Journal in 2016 that the printed operating instructions form the basis of all safety information. No matter how many times someone looks in the end.

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