Study: More than half of consumers globally trust driverless cars

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It is one of those iRobot myths coming true probably sooner than we are thinking: Driverless cars. Today, Cisco launched some study results which stated that 57% of respondents got no issues in trusting driverless cars to take over driving control for them. However, not all countries are alike…

The study shows that emerging markets are far more open than others. In Brazil (95%), India (86%) and China (70%) of responding drivers would leave control to technology; Japan (28%) and Germany (37%) coming in at the end of the field. Furthermore, 46% of respondents said they would let their kids in driverless cars.

Apart from that 74% of respondents have no problems if cars were tracking their driving habits as long as they could save on insurance and maintenance cost. For a better driving experience 65% of drivers would also be open to share driving habits, height, weight and entertainment preferences with the car manufacturers, 60% even biometrics data. A clear sign that the driving experience can be improved by the manufacturers, and that clients are longing for it.

Car Buying Experience Goes Digital

The most interesting fact of the study was for me that buyers are becoming more open to leave the car dealer out of the purchase process. It clearly shows that the Mad Men sales process is gone. It gets replaced by interactive kiosks at the car dealer’s place people would want, as long as there is someone you can ask when you got problems with the machines. Even better, 55% would even go through the purchasing process via video chats and digital virtual sessions. Obviously again not in countries like Germany and Japan which are not very open to virtual purchasing processes.

Car Buying Experience Goes Digital II

Spot On!
The Cisco study makes clear that the difference in connected car is in the service, not in having Cisco’s latest router. In the end, the next generation of cars should lie in seamless car driving experience that supports car services that help drivers find the right restaurant for their hunger, the appropriate pitstop for their needs, or the next service station before you realize you need it when driving your car.

CES 2013: Three magic inventions enable new brand power

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Some day, I have to be at CES, just to say I have been there, I assume. But time is money and the more projects you are juggling on a daily business, the less time there is for events. And the questions is if it all worth the traveling. So, the CES 2013 passed without me but the three main web connected inventions that caught my attention, shall be summarized briefly in this post.

Magic Cars
At different events in 2012 you could hear many speakers talking of the car becoming the most expensive but also most connected mobile device in our lives in the future. CES speakers were following kind of the same lines. When Will Smith was handling many issues while driving his car in iRobot, it seemed all too far away for us those days. Now, just some years have passed and AUDI is already showing the first prototype that allows drivers to travel via autopilot with the option to check emails and social channels when driving under 30 miles per hour. More and more, the car is emerging towards a connected multimedia vehicle which also offers new advertising and marketing approaches through mobile and navigation systems that bridge new opportunities for brand integration. This Beet.TV interview with Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer at GroupM, tells us how…

Magic Glass & Augmented Reality
When we have written about the Google Glass and the short film „Sight“, the vision of integrated and intelligent augmented reality technology seemed even further away from reality. At CES, another company called Innovega showed their version of augmented-reality eyewear. They previewed their invention of a wearable transparent heads-up display, enabled by iOptik contact lens technology, which delivers mega-pixel content with a panoramic field-of-view. An unbelievable „enjoyment of immersive personal media“? Well, the video shows us in two parts Innovega’s glasses why the approval of the FDA would be welcomed soon. And then I can see a future, where we will have the latest content and ads from our brand right in front of our eyes…

Magic Audio
Do you still think, TV commercials are one-way communication? You might think again. Audible Magic, an audio fingerprinting and recognition technology company, will be able to detect content and then react on a second screen. The company will partner with three advertising companies (Accelerated Media, DG Mediamind and Cheshire Duo) to create interactive commercials. Those ads shall trigger users by detecting relevant content and then send „relevant“ brand content to the viewer. Imagine you are watching a new James Bond film on TV with all their great commercials around „Skyfall“, Audible Magic’s technology recognizes the content and sends you a coupon or a video commercial on a second screen with a nice discount offer.

Audible Magic

Although I have listened to Ford’s Community with similar visions where via GPS billboard content shall sync with a smartphone app to be remembered while passing those billboards, it still sounds quite far away.

But the other innovations have shown that the future is just around the corner sometimes. Maybe I need to go to CES 2013 next year to find some more brand power options. You never know…

At Mercedes augmented-reality lets gestures communicate

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Some weeks ago, we have discussed the opportunity for car manufacturers with in-car internet access that KPMG sees as the „norm“ in the near future. If this is to come true, then concepts like the Mercedes‘ Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE) is not far of, and the car windshield might get potentially more impact in terms of delivering essential contextual driving information.

The system was shown at CES for the first time and seems not to be too far away bearing in mind that we have seen smart windows from Samsung that become TV screens. Wether this is fiction or reaality soon, I definitely like the idea and the vision that Mercedes has…

The car manufacturer envisions complete new data transfer through windshields like seeing who is driving in front of you or getting relevant traffic data or restaurant tips. What sounds promising, might also become a challenge for the driver who needs to avoid being distracted by all that data. The Mercedes concept touches all new technology options that we know from smartphones and tablets in favor of gesture-based controls that communicate information while driving.

„With the DICE sculpture Mercedes-Benz provides a visionary perspective on how the vehicle becomes an intelligent mobility partner in the future. For this Mercedes-Benz uses a combination of Augmented Reality and natural gesture control to realize a completely new form of communication between people and their environment.“

Well, just have a look and decide if you like it or not..

Study: In-car internet to become „the norm“

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Never will I forget the day some time between 2001 and 2002 when I went to the BMW pavilion exhibition in Munich to get an understanding of what „Connected Drive“ means. Those days, even the people in the pavilion could not help us, and it took BMW three days to give us some proper feedback on this term via telephone. Today, the term is clearly defined as driving with internet access which enables all sorts of connected infotainment, and if you want to know more about it, you can get plenty of information here.

Every day today, people are sitting in their cars, grapping their smartphones while waiting at traffic lights – although a great Facebook page tells us not „Text-and-Drive“. The future will be different though…

According to the world’s top car bosses, in-car internet access is close to becoming reality. A recent survey by KPMG called „Global Automotive Executive Survey 2011“ shows that speech recognition and internet connection with Wifi and 3G will become the norm in the future.

The results of the study state that 37% of the 200 responding car executives see „infotainment“ to be almost as important as car safety. It makes clear that over the next five years, car buyers will see in-car gadgets provided by the big tech firms like Apple, Google or Microsoft.

The new Toyota Avensis commercial in Germany features in-car texting and internet.

Intel already announced some collaboration with Toyota at the end of last year. Intel forecasts that the connected car is the fastest growing technological device following smartphones and tablets.

According to Reuters, Mercedes-Benz USA is bringing Facebook to its cars with the new in-vehicle telematics system that will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. It allows drivers to access Facebook on the road. However it is not exactly the same as using the social network on a personal computer or a smartphone. „The version of Facebook offered in Daimler AG’s Mercedes is stripped down to a limited set of features, specially designed for drivers and centered around the locations of friends and businesses.“ Audi’s A7 series already offers a built-in 3G wireless which shall be extended to other new models.

Spot On!
Car manufacturers will look out for cooperation opportunities with IT companies as well as telecoms and the music industry. It will be interesting to see how much the in-car technologies will evolve and develop in combination with the Hybrid technology that will get the main investment according to 53% of the car execs. Apart from that 57% see speech recognition and built-in navigation as important product issues for consumers in the future. Just imagine you can send your tweet, write a blogpost or a Google+ status update without taking your eyes from the streets. If speech recognition performs, a lot of the dangerous texting and driving could end. Although it will take some time for people to adapt to the nex technology.