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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 19, 2018

Advertising will be 'rear-ended' by autonomous vehicles

While current hype would have many believe that fully autonomous vehicles are just around the corner, the reality is they are still a good few years away. That should not, however, stop marketers from considering how best they can inject themselves into the extra 300 or so hours that Americans currently spend with their hands on the wheel.

by Helen Leggatt

Over 20 companies developing self-driving car technology were at CES 2018 but the general take out is that we're a long way off being driven around. According to The Verge's Jack Stewart, "Manufacturers are more eager than ever to tell you autonomous, electric cars are the future, and that they're helping make it happen. But for fans of a throaty V8 exhaust, there's no need to worry just yet". His colleague, Tamara Warren, is equally realistic saying "your ability to buy a self-driving car is years away, and is not guaranteed".

A study by Boston Consulting Group forecasts that more than 12 million fully autonomous cars will be sold annually on a global basis by 2035. A report from Research and Markets forecasts that the software market for autonomous cars is expected to grow at a CAGR of 76.10% between 2017 and 2021.

Either way, users of fully autonomous cars are going to have a lot more time on their hands - and this could be a huge opportunity for marketers, more so with the advent of 5G. That extra time means more chance to consume branded or ad-funded content either on mobile or in-car displays.

As car brands shift their messaging from performance to in-car entertainment and technology, brands and media will be seeking to engage this captive audience in more ways than just a radio ad. Already, some car manufacturers have begun integrating technology such as in-car apps and digital assistants, through which brands are able to better engage with drivers and passengers.

So, while the truly autonomous driving experience is a few years off, marketers do need to begin considering the technology's impacts and opportunities.

"Advertising - like many other of our daily interactions and experiences - will be rear-ended by autonomous vehicles," writes Noam Neumann, VP of Technologies and Data at Mobfox in an excellent article in International Business Times. "Self-driving cars will not only offer new surfaces and more available time with which to target audiences, but they will wholly transform the advertising industry. In the world of autonomous cars, ads will steer location; drive and enable in-vehicle transactions and purchases; and allow for interactive branded engagement."

Tags: advertising, auto brands, automotive, brand marketing, mobile marketing, technology

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