The surge of new players entering the connected and autonomous space is not only shifting the way the automotive industry operates, but creating a new wave of opportunities in the connectivity ecosystem. With the rise of connectivity, it’s beginning to become apparent that automotive OEMs need to shift their organization to become a digital company, as well as a manufacturer. Innovative technologies are shifting the way OEMs develop and deliver vehicles, creating a new business ecosystem.
The term “cell phone on wheels” has been attributed to the idea that the car functions as a mobile platform. However, there is a major flaw in this design. The current model of in-vehicle capabilities is only focused on what is happening inside the vehicle itself, disregarding the influences of the world around it. The reality is, drivers are more interested in what’s happening outside. Whether it’s for safety or experiential purposes, drivers are constantly creating an improvised journey behind the wheel due to factors outside the car. Think of it this way; people don’t just stop to take their children to the park because their having a meltdown in the backseat. The question here becomes, how do we bring the value surrounding the vehicle inside to make new value-added experiences driven by outside factors?
In order to create true connectivity between the person and the car, it doesn’t take too much effort. It’s pretty simple actually. The people add the value, the car is just the platform to make it happen. Here’s how:
Vehicles as an Open Platform
The car is the platform for many things, most commonly used to move us from point A to B, but now shifting to become a platform for connectivity. The key to achieving this framework is to alter the car from the current closed platform to an open platform. An open platform creates new value-added experience around the vehicle that’s enhanced by outside forces, allowing other people to add value through the integration of handpicked software – chosen by the customer.
With an open platform software system, people have the opportunity to opt in for different awareness levels based on the things they care about the most or choose the services and content providers they prefer. Essentially the car becomes an inflexion point so passengers can have a similar connected experience as if they were at home. * It’s important to note that with this opt in feature, drivers are not being inundated with ads
Hybridized Journey to the Future
The idea of connected vehicles is not just about the vehicle and the services it provides, but rather the idea that connectivity from the outside world is transforming the way people think about their journey within the vehicle. It’s not just about hoping into your car and going; today’s car offers a collaborative platform made up of diverse software systems (chosen by the consumers) to create the optimal journey. It’s no longer just about the vehicle and the journey. It’s about the vehicle and the journey in the vehicle.
Personas Behind the Hybridized Journey
In order to create the ultimate vehicle experience discussed above, there’s a few simple questions that need to be asked, specifically, to determine who you are while you’re in the car. Are you a CEO headed to a big business meeting? Or a young couple going out to dinner? Or are you a family on the first leg of a cross country road trip? How do we find this out?By simply asking people where they are going. Figuring out who the driver is while they sit behind the steering wheel enables the car to effectively serve relevant content based on their specified journey. Understanding the persona of the driver provides the system context and gives the system the ability to switch the offerings and content served based on the provided context. For example:
- Let’s say you’re a family on a long road trip, the car will know not to send you a link for tickets tothe opera house, but rather notify you where the nearest rest stop is, or what gas prices look like along your route.
- Look at your weekly grocery shopping trip. Knowing your routine, the car will start picking up your patterns and achievethis modelto begin serving you of content based on your behavior over time.
Simply asking the driver where they are going allows the system to customize the journey and tailored experience.
Enabling Consumer Trust and Monetization of Data
Once you have this ecosystem and persona(s) identified, everyone who is involved in manufacturing the car, the outside forces, and the people in the car shifts the purpose it’s on the road to begin with. But the question remains, how do we make them want to spend more time in the car? What can be done to continuously add more value to the car? When searching for the answer it’s crucial to shift your thinking to focus on creating an ecosystem of value that is both passenger, driver and third-party driven. Most manufacturers are fearful of what might happen if they let other people engage in commerce activities with their customers, but the truth of the fact is, by doing this you provide more value and money to all players – even the driver. It’s a win for everyone.
SVP, Digital Strategy & Chief Digital Officer