The automotive industry is evolving from being one of car providers to technology providers. This means companies are having to change just as much as their cars are. This transition from products to services is driving the industry to being more customer focused. Traditional car companies are now having to compete with tech companies like uber and google, outside the original industry. Knowing this, car companies are reshaping their image and mastering vehicle autonomy challenges that are affecting their industry.
To do so effectively they need to educate the consumer on the opportunities to come. They need to understand how these products will improve their lives to create a demand for them. As these technologies progress, they become associated with their brands. Look at Nissan’s Safety Shield® for instance. Nissan has been developing autonomous technology for a while now and has slowly rolled out their safety features. They’ve developed rear and frontal brake assist, lane change warnings and rear cross traffic alert. The term “Safety Shield” is now synonymous with the Nissan brand. But as cool as these features may be, consumers are still a little hesitant about this developing technology.
The Vehicle Autonomy Challenges
According to research, consumers need to be reassured on vehicle autonomy. A large challenge facing autonomous technology in America, is that 75% of drivers would feel less safe with autonomous cars on the road. So, In order to easily transition into this technology, consumers need to be better educated in them.
The journey to fully self-driving cars will be a gradual one. And with each step the driver will be giving up more control to the vehicle. Through the 5 levels of automation, automotive industries are slowly making autonomous driving more acceptable.
- Feet off
- Hands off
- Eyes off
- Mind off
- No driver required
Creating Opportunity with Technology
BMW asked Dan Chapman, Technical Director at Cassette, London, UK, to educate consumers on the future of autonomy. The Formula E presented an ideal location for Cassette to create a unique and immersive educational installation. This project was designed to produce a memorable and informative experience for consumers to familiarize themselves with current and upcoming autonomous technology.
Cassette wanted to show consumers how these advancements will affect the cars they will own in the future. But first they needed to attract them. Using a combination of Augmented Reality and object recognition technology, Dan Chapman used the Unreal Engine to develop an interactive game like experience to educate this captive audience.
Using Real Time Technology to Communicate Effectively
Tables equipped with LED panels displayed informative, interactive content. When approached, the display would invite a participant to put a 3D printed vehicle on the digital road. When placed on the glass, the environment below moves, simulating the car driving on the street. Those interacting with the map were given information about certain features as well as the opportunity to choose what they want to learn.
Users were able to pull up to an intersection and decide on seeing what they want to learn based on where they turned. Users feel less frustrated and more receptive to information when given the decision-making capabilities to learn what is most pertinent to their needs.
People are better at receiving new ideas when it relates to existing knowledge or experience. Scenarios of going to work or coming home from errands, for instance, do well in communicating information.
This project worked to help communicate how these technologies will affect lives in a way that is more engaging and memorable. This translated down the line into a familiarity and acceptance of the technologies that will soon be available on the marketplace for consumers. It is this out of the box means of communication that will help increase automotive development and transition consumers into a new buyer experience, mastering vehicle autonomy challenges in the industry.
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