Aldo Agostinelli

Many people will turn their nose up at the idea of unmanned cars but this topic periodically hits the headlines. The reason is that technology is already evolving in that direction and ignoring it will not make it disappear. On the contrary, it is a reality. We may not be talking about a near future but for sure about the next decade. Such forecast has been recently confirmed by a report by Forrester entitled “Autonomous Vehicles Will Reshape The Global Economy” which, once again, addresses the topic. Read it in Italian

According to such document, unmanned vehicles are bound to become a common form of transport within 10 years, and a widespread choice on the part of consumers within 20 or 30 years. Cities like Singapore and Hong Kong are expected to be the pioneers in this business, due to the obvious issue of traffic (and the consequent pollution) they are facing, which has already urged them to start testing this type of vehicles on their streets.

The most intriguing part of the above mentioned report concerns marketers rather than consumers –intended as potential purchasers of the new robot cars, since the former are supposed to take advantage of new advertising spaces to be used to promote their services/products.
Driverless vehicles, whether we are talking about trucks or cars, will be similar to mobile living rooms surrounded by screens which will be showing videos/images, both inside and outside offering thousands of new opportunities to publishers and advertisers and especially brands to exploit such spaces in diverse and innovative ways.

You can think about the classic sponsorship linked to a specific journey of a driverless car or, for instance, like the Budweiser truck, as well as brands offering a subscription service including both a given journey and the related immersive entertainment experience. We can picture vehicles that, thanks to several displays, interactive sensors, virtual and augmented reality devices, could transform their passenger compartment offering clients intense multi-sensorial experiences simulating a journey inside a space ship, a pirate ship or a submarine.

All this according to the “Vegas rules” logic, and its famous slogan – What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas -, i.e. what happens inside the car stays in the car, thanks to shielded windows, making the inside invisible from the outside (Will autonomous vehicles provide the next screens for publishers and advertisers?).

Of course, the introduction of such driverless vehicles will create a havoc in many currently prosperous sectors, from the insurance business to the automotive sector, which will have to adapt. As a matter of fact, anyway, the maintenance costs of our cars have been increasing dramatically to the point that many of us may actually prefer not to own a private vehicle but to rent a robot one when needed instead (even for free thanks to the sponsorships!).

However, the wisest marketers and brands still have plenty of time to get ready.

Are you pro or against driverless cars? Are you afraid or do you think they may bring about new business opportunities? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

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Aldo Agostinelli