Google has released a new search queries-based report, titled Automotive Trends Report 2018, which highlights three very different trends in the direction the automotive add-ons industry seems to be headed for the US, Germany, and Japan. Interestingly, Google stepped outside of its Google search data for this report and also included searches from its YouTube subsidiary. Beyond that, the company says it got in touch with a total of 1,000 consumers from the three regions to provide context for that data. According to the report, digital radio and similar updates are currently the big things in Germany while Japanese drivers appear bent on "turning their cars into living rooms." Americans, on the other hand, seem to mostly want their cars enhanced to cater to their pets.
Specifically, Google says that vehicle-related search trends originating in the US are trending toward pets, revealing that Americans view their furry companions as family. Residents of the country are as much as 36 times more likely to search for pet-related vehicle products as those in Germany and ten times more likely than the average person in Japan. In the meantime, Germans are primarily searching for ways to improve their vehicle via Digital Audio Broadcasting equipment. Google says that the trend is actually something that started way back in 2010 with a national initiative to switch all broadcasts to digital formats. Despite the length of time between then and now, as of August, searches for that equipment still managed to rise by 41-percent year-over-year. Last but not least, Japanese searches from seem to indicate that customers are redesigning the interiors of their vehicles with goals centered around comfort and aesthetic appeal. More directly, and rather than looking at technologies specifically, consumers from the region are looking at seat covers, fridges, humidifiers, and even curtains. The average Japanese consumer is almost twice as interested in the topic as those in the US and nearly five times as likely to search for those customizations as the average German consumer.
As to what the regions have in common, all three are showing an increased interest in incorporating cameras into their vehicles in ways that go well beyond those made for assisting drivers with safely backing up. Drivers are specifically looking into camera systems that record both behind and in front of a vehicle - with searches related to that growing 185-percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, searches for in-car recording systems that show a 360-degree view have gone up by more than 70-percent and hidden vehicle-based camera searches went up by 29-percent for that same period. For more advanced features, searches for cameras that show or include GPS functionality have grown by 10-percent and cameras that are part of a parking system have seen 51-percent growth in searches from last year. Setting those aside, the biggest jump in queries for onboard cameras was for those that are embedded in mirrors on a vehicle. That particular category saw a search increase of over 598-percent year-over-year.