The Shiny New Things at CES 2016

CES_logo.svgThere are lots of interesting new gadgets on display for all to see at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. Automotive technology takes center stage at the massive tech show with more space than ever dedicated to automotive and the various companies offering add on’s to improve safety and the driver experience.

One company that showed up last year was Aupeo who promised to  simplify the global complexity of in vehicle connected audio content delivery, and offer unique and high quality listening experiences for drivers all while giving auto makers a new way to communicate with their customers in and out of the vehicle. This company was acquired by Panasonic in 2015 and re-branded as  OneConnect. David Taylor, CEO and managing director of Aupeo OneConnect, says the platform could be used by advertisers to communicate directly with consumers in the car. “The vehicle remains the No. 1 listening location for most consumers, and now brands can send targeted information directly to an engaged audience,” he said in a release. “This is one more step in adding a personalized level of service and usefulness to the in-aupeo-logovehicle customer experience.” The Platform is a versatile state-of-the art cloud based brand marketing and content delivery platform. It allows to create individual services and user experiences around connected audio use cases. It can be used beyond the vehicle to entertain and inform your customers while providing you with invaluable new Customer Relation Management opportunities.

lyft-logo-los-angelesMeanwhile, Ford announced two deals at CES this week. One with Amazon and a second with the ride sharing service called Lyft. Ford has invested $500 million in this service service which boasts cutting-edge app technology, and promises that wherever you’re headed, count on Lyft for rides in minutes. The Lyft app matches you with local drivers at the tap of a button. Just request and go.

Automobile manufacturers and technology companies are investing heavily in self-driving vehicles, and consumer interest is clearly increasing. Car owners want more integrated technology and in-car capabilities, including Wifi and products like Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay which allow drivers to access smartphone apps, including music, via the digital dashboard touch screen, buttons on the steering wheel and even voice commands.

GM is positioning itself for a future when fewer people will actually own cars, and instead, opting for ride-sharing and on-demand services. As part of its deal, GM and Lyft are creating a fleet of rental vehicles for Lyft drivers, and also developing an on-demand network of self-driving cars. “GM wants to be in the pole position of manufacturing those cars, particularly if that rise in demand for ride services comes at the expense of individuals owning their own cars,” Jason Harrison, global CEO of Gain Theory, told Adweek. Any advances in digital dashboards and smartphone integration create fresh opportunities for radio broadcasters to deliver on-demand content to drivers, and radio owners need to be improving their digital offerings if they want to retain control of in car listening.

Autonomous cars are one of the hot areas at this week’s 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with carmakers and technology companies showing off new features that allow drivers to be passengers in their own vehicles and transform commuting into time for entertainment and work. “Cars are essentially becoming the next must-have mobile device,” Jason Harrison, global CEO of Gain Theory, told Adweek. That creates huge opportunities for content providers and advertisers. At CES, car companies including Volvo, Hyundai and Audi, among others, are previewing their latest self-driving and advanced car technologies. With self-driving cars expected to hit the market in 2020, according to analysts’ predictions in Adweek, the pressure is on radio broadcasters to deliver content that keeps its audience engaged and entertained. Once a driver is freed up and the car pilots itself, a consumer can still listen to radio, but can also watch videos, use social media, browse the web and video chat.

One of the services competing for in car ears, especially in the USA, is Pandora who rolled out details on an educational effort to help auto sales personnel spotlight Pandora as a central entertainment option in enabled vehicles.  The opportunity for radio is to offer additional content, exclusive features like podcasts, original video and concert series that could be transformed into in-car entertainment, if a driver is free to use their ears and eyes.