The wave of magical CES 2018 innovations has begun to roll in, and among those already announced is a company called Nuance Communications’s “Dragon Drive” – an (extremely) artificially intelligent assistant for your car.
“By combining conversational artificial intelligence with a number of nonverbal cues, Dragon Drive helps you talk to your car as though you were talking to a person. For example, the AI platform now boasts gaze detection, which allows drivers to get information about and interact with objects and places outside of the car simply by looking at them and asking Dragon Drive for details. If you drive past a restaurant, you can simply focus your gaze at said establishment and say, “Call that restaurant,” or “How is that restaurant rated?” Dragon Drive provides a “meaningful, human-like response.”
Moreover, the platform enables better communication with a whole host of virtual assistants, including smart home devices and other popular AI platforms. In this way, Dragon Drive claims, drivers will be able to manage a host of tasks all from their cars, whether it’s setting their home heating system or transferring money between bank accounts.
Dragon Drive’s AI integration does not only apply to external factors, but to components within the car as well. For instance, if you ask the AI platform to find parking, Dragon Drive will take into consideration whether or not your windshield wipers are on to determine whether it ought to direct you to a covered parking area to avoid the rain. And if you tell Dragon Drive you’re cold, the system will automatically adjust the car’s climate (but only in your area, keeping other passengers comfortable).
Why It’s Hot:
Putting aside the question of how many AI assistants we might have in our connected future, what was really interesting to see was the integration of voice and eye tracking biometrics. Things like using your voice as your key (/to personalize your settings to you and your passengers), the car reminding you of memories that happened at locations you’re passing, and identifying stores/buildings/restaurants/other things along your route with just a gaze, it’s amazing to think what the future holds when all the technologies we’ve only just seen emerging in recent years converge.
It is now believed the Connected Car Will Surpass All Other IoT Initiatives (and provide Four Key Opportunities for Advertisers). In-Car Advertising will soon ascend to match TV and Mobile in time spent and provide marketers with a new trove of useful data points.
We’re hearing more and more about connected cars these days. They will be among the first internet of thing activations to achieve true scale. Cars will be talking to other cars before most other types of IoT applications have meaningful impact on our lives. This connected “network” will ultimately be very powerful — possibly saving lives while also providing better traffic information and ultimately better driver experiences. But what does this all mean to marketers? And how can they plan for this eventuality and take advantage of it?
The connected car will present marketers with far-ranging opportunities. In the most obvious case, in-car advertising, now limited to radio and small-scale infotainment activations, will ascend to a medium on par with TV and mobile in terms of consumer’s time spent.
In a less-obvious case, connected cars will create an entirely new set of consumer data that will act as an enabling technology for marketers. Marketers have long craved data on real-world consumer behavior. The connected car will open insights on where consumers shop, travel and spend their time. As marketers better understand the connected car evolutionary path, they can make more informed decisions about how they leverage each discrete opportunity along the way. Here are four opportunities for marketers to explore with connected cars:
1. Audio. Radio owns the car today, but with its one-way broadcast structure it will be supplanted over time. The first steps are being taken by Pandora now, as it begins developing a programmatic targeting network for in-car ads. Over time, as more and varied applications migrate to the car dashboard, this exchange will grow more robust, with more ad impressions becoming available and migrating into an “auto exchange” for buyers to act against, based upon all of the typical targeting data, in addition to location data and other information.
2. Video. Visual ads are likely to be first inserted in the actual driving experience as drivers are given less and less to do in maneuvering their vehicle — and have more time to engage elsewhere. In the meantime, video will be a prime inventory format for pre- and post-drive and traffic-snarl periods. They require less-focused concentration, are entertaining and can deploy much more information.
For example, consider someone who gets into their car in the morning to drive to work. Starbucks has a new drink offer and may know that person has not been in-store for a couple of days. The video starts as the driver is getting ready to drive and provides an offer — and maybe even a direct “drive-to” for the location the consumer would normally choose (or, even better, press a key to order and have the coffee waiting upon pull-up). Video will be the most engaging way to get the consumer activated, and marketers will assuredly be able to reap the benefit.
3. Custom services marketing.For now, consumers use tools like Evernote to track a to-do list,Google Calendar to track time and Google Now to surface key actions based on email messages. All of that data will soon be converted into a data source for marketers to mine for targeting purposes. For example, a to-do list might include three specific shopping items; a marketer might use that data to deliver a targeted message showing they have all of those items in stock (i.e. at a nearby Walgreens) — and offer two of the items on a weekly special. This approach will be used by partners that can surf large quantities of data for “matches” to a marketer’s parameters, and in turn deliver a truly personalized targeted message.
4. Highly personalized location-based targeting.This is the ad type many small businesses will want to figure out so they can make messages most engaging. If a consumer is at location X and has a history of visiting certain types of restaurants, a local restaurant could target the consumer with an ad — perhaps in the form of a location bookmark or an actual calendar event with a coupon. While it may not drive immediate action, it could bring the consumer in over time.
Why it’s Hot:
The real-world location data from connected cars represents a new pillar of marketing insight that will help marketers effectively understand consumers. Who owns the data, how it will be protected and how it will be used are still issues to be resolved, but the data itself represents a sea-change in the consumer knowledge that will be available to marketers.
The connected car, the first large-scale IoT platform, offers great promise to marketers — and a whole new way to reach consumers — at a time when they were previously reachable only on a very limited basis, such as with out-of-home or radio ads. Smart marketers will want to consider the potential new media consumption implications — and opportunities — for consumers and drive hard to get their messages in front of them accordingly. In a rapidly emerging space, first movers will have a serious advantage.
When we think of hacks, we often think email, banks, phones. But many people don’t think of things like cars as a hackable devices, too. So researchers in St. Louis set out to demonstrate that the automakers need to be far more active in the security of the internet-connected vehicles.
The subject was Fiat Chrysler’s line of Uconnect vehicles. Using a Jeep Cherokee, the researchers demonstrated that using the vehicle’s Sprint network data connection, they could successfully attack a driver’s vehicle to remotely by pure anonymized hack. Some 470,000+ vehicles on the roads offer this connectivity, making vulnerability to hack no small risk.
So what could the hackers exploit? Quite a lot. While the driver was cruising at highway speed, they were able to alter wipers, display personalized messages on the dashboard, even disable the transmission to prevent acceleration. Traffic piled up behind the driver, as the subject was left helpless.
But the hackers are doers of good. They sought to share these exploits with the hacker community, so that those with malicious intent do not find them first. What’s shocking is the automotive industries apparent attempt to minimize these studies. In a longer expose of the study, Wired highlights that automakers are more interested in out-competing for features over addressing real consumer safety concerns with this untested new drivable devices.
Why It’s Hot
As we are always looking for what is new, shiny and internet-driven, cases like this demonstrate why consumers need to remain vigilant in the connected age. In this case, it took hacker advocacy to open our eyes to corporate sluggishness and blindness to the dangers that new products can pose.
It seems that every week we are discussing new technology in the automotive industry – ranging from better GPS systems and windshield displays to driverless cars. But it’s yet to be seen if all this effort put into improving the convenience of virtually everything while driving is a timely novelty or actually the way transportation will be in the future.
Statista recently released statistics on connected cars, or cars embedded with Internet access. In 2013, there were already approximately 23 million connected vehicles around the world, with technology to help drivers with engine controls, automatic crash notifications and safety alerts, remote engine start and door locking, etc. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 152 million connected vehicles.
Why It’s Hot | Of the uses for connected vehicles, Statista shows driver assistance and safety to be among the top currently and in the future. While this is better than having entertainment be the main focus (aka distraction), it does show that as a society we are moving further in the direction of physically doing less. Though Google’s driverless cars seemed like something out of Wall-E, they might not be as far into the future as we expect.