The automobile is dead, long live the auto-mobile

More Tesla InteriorsHow 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 ?


Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Disruption, Innovation, Internet of Things, Mobility

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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3 Comments on “The automobile is dead, long live the auto-mobile”

  1. February 19, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Theo, this is a great point you make…don’t make the cars smarter…make the cars able to adapt to our BYOD mentality that works in every other environment.

  2. Rob Mian
    February 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Car manufacturers embraced BYOD long before we had a name for it. It started with aux inputs that allowed us to plug in our own a/v device. The USB port permitted us to access our mp3 devices through our car’s native interface. Bluetooth provides wireless integration with our phones and audio making it easier and safer than ever to talk and listen to your favorite music while driving.

    Of course there is still room for improvement in the way our car interacts with our smart devices and I look forward to those interface innovations. However, until our cars can safely drive themselves the focus needs to be on making the current basic functionality even simpler and safer to use.

    Drivers don’t need more distractions. It’s bad enough that some are glued to their smartphones at 60 mph. The the last thing anyone needs is a pop up ad on a large screen encouraging a hungry driver to cut across 3 lanes of traffic to make the next exit so they can eat at Joe’s for half price. It may be a marketer’s dream but it is a family’s worst nightmare.

    The National Safety Council stats on auto deaths due to distractions (like texting) are startling. As much as I crave information and love technology there is a time and a place. I sincerely hope car manufacturers choose safety over distracting interfaces. IMO, they should be looking for ways to prevent people from physically accessing their smart devices and playing with their consoles while driving.


  1. When big data just happens | Successful Workplace - February 19, 2013

    […] spend a great deal of time in our cars and the environment is sorely lacking for personalization and creativity. It’s about time that changed. It’s about time a Monday commute stirs up […]

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