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Comfort has many significations. It has a deep emotional meaning on the one hand and a relaxing physical experience on the other. And while comfort may mean different things to different people, we are still constantly innovating to reach that “ultimate" level of well-being - be it in foods, retail experiences, household chores, office environments; in fact in just about everything that we do or experience!

Citroën, a French international automotive brand, is launching its first car in India soon. It has been innovating to make its vehicles more comfortable for its drivers and its passengers for over 100 years. This comfort factor is brought alive in its cars by a host of patented technologies, design elements and the smart and intelligent use of materials, which are human-centric.

It’s a known fact that people perform best when they are comfortable, whether at work or in a car on the road. So, the brand commissioned a study to understand what comfort really means to Indians. And while comfort in a car was assumed to be a given factor, the recent research commissioned by Citroën India, into all aspects of comfort in India – showed that that’s not, necessarily the case. The findings are based on 1,801 telephonic interviews conducted across 10 cities (list) during October ’21; the fieldwork was conducted by Innovative Research Services.

A staggering 92% of Indians described their drive to work as ‘uncomfortable’, nearly half (49%) experienced back and neck pains on roads (either as passengers or drivers), 70% of Indians found that they didn’t have sufficient space for passengers and storage in their cars on long drives, while over half the respondents (55%) cited incessant honking and pollution contributed to their discomfort.

Private car travel is increasingly becoming the preferred mode of transport for Indians as a result of the pandemic. According to the research, 25% of the respondents would have been most comfortable in a private car for short journeys (up to 3 km) prior to the pandemic, a figure that has risen to 34% today. Preference for shared/public transport (buses/trains) has declined from 28% to just 12% during the same period.

Both drivers and passengers voiced the need to feel comfortable in their driving experience. The research highlighted that 19% of Indians described their driving experience as ‘uncomfortable’ due to the potholes, 45% due to traffic noise, and 28% with the time stuck at traffic signals.

According to other research from MoveInSynch, Indians spend up to 7% of their day commuting to and from work – one of the highest rates in the world.The research commissioned by Citroën India further suggests that nearly one-in-five (19%) consider commuting time ‘the most uncomfortable hours of the day’.

Delivering comfortable journeys for people on the road therefore becomes a basic requirement for enriching their quality of life, which ultimately enhances personal well-being as well as productivity.

‘Are you comfortable’, should thus not just be a polite courtesy question. It is in fact, the most fundamental question to ask before you hit the road next time!

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