GM Connected Car

Transforming GM from an auto manufacturer to a provider of mobility solutions.

The Ask

While the cars of today are more technologically connected and advanced than ever before, they are simultaneously not meeting drivers’ expectations of what technology can deliver. But with technology cycles speeding up and capabilities broadening, technology has the opportunity to deliver an experience for drivers that extends the role of the vehicle beyond simple transportation from A to B. How can we better understand a driver’s needs and leverage in-vehicle connectivity to create new services and experiences?

Unearthing Truth

We conducted in-depth ethnographic research with drivers across the globe—United States, China, and across Europe—both in-homes and in-vehicles. In these conversations, we explored their current driving behaviors, their relationship with technology, and the intersection of the two to cut to the core of what drivers really need.

Unlocking Possibility

With a solid foundation of several hundred driver needs, we built a platform to organize needs on both a regional and global scale. The platform was borne from the insight that the car plays a myriad of roles throughout a driver’s journey, from a sherpa, to a bodyguard, to an entertainer. These roles— and the deconstruction of the driver’s journey — added valuable context and dimension to the needs, inspiring us to imagine a world beyond today’s reality and develop over 100 unique in-vehicle experience concepts.

Manifesting Impact

Approximately 50 concepts were prioritized and brought to life through renderings and user-experience journeys for testing and further development. The work was so impactful internally, we have since been tasked with 12 other explorations focused on identifying and solving driver needs across specific vehicle platforms, technology systems, and geographic regions, resulting in hundreds more actionable, needs-driven concepts.


Of the hundreds of concepts developed throughout our relationship with GM, a variety have been developed and released into GM and OnStar’s suite of connected services. But more importantly, the framework and insights have laid the foundation for a pipeline of innovation that has helped shape GM’s approach to innovation and established the connected vehicle experience as we know it.


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