How many times have you stared at the features list of an Audi or BMW and played with their online configuration game trying to create the most expensive version ? Even trying to spec the sounds system and associated functions is mind-boggling
I find it amusing and yet somewhat odd that the focus is on the interior environment rather than the driving experience. Yet as cars roll off the assembly lines of the future this will become more a prominent distinction for the mass market and no longer the stuff of speculative luxury.
Limited choice, infinite possibilities
Right now the interface to the car is via a small panel on the dashboard with nice buttons to press, a few twisty dials, and if you’re lucky an integrated SatNav. But take a look at the Tesla, there’s a whopping great 17″ monitor built in which shouts at you to pay attention to it. And this is where the future of the automobile industry lies as much as it does in electric energy. The interface with the driver will become an overriding factor far more important than being able to drive at a theoretical 150mph and cornering on a sixpence.
While we’ve been fairly restricted to the types of interface we’ve been given, at CES car manufacturers were showcasing various in-car-nations (pun) of Android as the system of choice powering the infotainment systems. But look deeper into this if you will, there’s little need for them to create inbuilt systems, just the integration point. Consumers and drivers will want to exercise BYOD and integrate their tablet into the dashboard and directly interface with the car via an authorised app.
Apps and devices hold the key to creating interest in the automobile industry for the average consumer and driver. While battery and electricity hold public attention for environmental reasons the fact remains that people are becoming reliant on their mobile devices and apps of choice. It makes more sense to allow them to use these within a driving context as well; carrying their online presence, music tastes, personal data and integrating them all with the driving experience.
Marketing reaches top gear
And for marketers, what an absolute dream to be able to access a driver’s mobile information and push relevant and contextual content at a driver just at the right time. Those points of interest can be retained in the device for later access by the consumer when they’re on foot or back at home.
There’s no need to have a wish list several pages long when all the choice the driver needs to make is; Android, iOS or Windows ?