What is a Connected Car?
Most of us have heard of the internet of things by now. One of the next steps in today’s burgeoning technology is the internet of cars. Cars are going to be ever more connected, with wifi providing advanced information about the road, other drivers and nearby amenities.
Besides speeding alerts and safety notifications, connected autos include voice commands for phone, navigation apps, car diagnosis and even parking assistance. For marketers and businesses, connected cars mean a wealth of digital information for the taking.
What innovations are likely for the future?
The informational capabilities of new cars make them innovative and useful to drivers and others, including marketers. Are cars poised to become the “ultimate mobile device?” Four forces are converging to make sure that communication technology for automobiles continues to take off.
The exciting technological breakthrough we’re witnessing is the ever-changing progression from automated cars, which surfaced in the eighties, to fully computer-driven vehicles. Right now, we’re at the in-between stage of autonomous vehicles that still rely on human oversight to a certain extent.
Digital technology has a steeper curve of progress than ever before, and it accelerates each year. We’re moving away from the traditional marketing plan of each new car new having features that the last model lacked. Instead, cars are going to have to be able to adapt to ever-increasing digital progress, with the ability to accept downloads and upgrades.
- Digital Lifestyles
The world is in the midst of a demographic shift as the digital generation reaches maturity. Today’s drivers expect a computerized engine, rear camera and satellite connectivity. As vehicles move into the same sphere as cell phones and other digital devices, users will expect the same instant gratification of apps and downloads for the car.
Product innovation will accelerate and the only way to keep pace with the changes will be the use of instant upgrades. Many also predict that car sharing will become common, and Elon Musk of Tesla already has plans for a fleet of self-driving cars that can be rented by the hour.
There are lots of possibilities for collaboration between automakers and other businesses in the digital age. Car owners who practice safe driving habits might enjoy more reasonable deductibles from their insurance companies, for example. Valuable add-ons like 24-hour emergency services and advanced voice control can create revenue streams for businesses.
Eventually, your car will have a data plan, just as your cell phone or laptop does. In the same way that internet browsing habits are monitored now, driving style and add-on selections will be fair game for data crunchers. But it will be the same for other drivers. Your car might advise an alternate route because of a particularly high number of risk-taking drivers on the road, for example.
There are a couple of issues when it comes to this brave new driving age. One is the question of how much information each driver can process at one time. What is the optimal number of apps on the driver panel? Does each driver really need several selections when it comes to streaming music providers?
Drivers will most likely embrace the opportunity to have their preferences taken into account when searching for nearby restaurants and lodging. However, how much information is too much for marketers to access? Eventually, there will be guidelines to resolve the boundaries between private and public information when it comes to vehicles.
What happens next?
Car dealers and salespeople will be expected to be well-versed in the latest digital automobile technology because that’s going to be one of the important features to consumers. Flexibility will also be important for staying up to date on the latest innovations as they are revealed.
After-market features for automobiles may become a thing of the past as digital downloads gain the ability to reconfigure a car’s electronics remotely. Besides the idea of car sharing, there’s also the possibility of automobiles subsidized by the companies that provide the onboard features, since this would be a smart way to increase market share. Consumers and businesses alike stand to benefit from the connected car of the future.