Part 3: A Little Bit of KITT Will Be in Every Vehicle 

It’s tough to choose a car. Not only do you need to decide on make and model, but also the operating system, features and color scheme. And with the rapid technological development we’ve seen in the past few years, features become outdated with each new model. We change our mobile phones every couple of years; however, the average age of cars on the road is approximately 12 years old. A lot of the technological advancements we see spilling into other areas of tech don’t make it into the vehicle.

However, the industry is quickly realizing that vehicles must meet the new the standard of convenience in a world where Amazon and Uber dominate their markets. Luckily, innovations like steering applications and system updates can help the industry meet customer demands.

Some of the what we’re alluding to is possible today—upgrading and purchasing maps are you drive into a new country is a reality. But imagine your car could automatically upgrade your insurance, recharge itself, pay for your dinner, pay road taxes and adhere to speed limits on its own. With this kind of technology, you could download packages for certain seasons or regions, allowing you to program your air conditioning to maximize cooling or heating. Additional features like off-road and on-road driving optimization can be added to that list of must-haves.

Car subscription services could become new revenue opportunities for OEMs, providing revenue streams beyond the initial purchase price. Imagine your car runs a vehicle check on its own, rather than having to go to a garage.

“Hey, Tom, do you want us to run a vehicle health check on your Acura for $1 per month?” Yes, please.

The process of repairing a car will become more much convenient. In the not so distant future cars will be able to diagnose themselves and book as well as consume services to fix emerging. Today, Solera companies already work with Lyft, the ride-sharing service which recently IPO-ed, to deliver parts on time for commercial vehicles.

While this new reality lies ahead, another opportunity presenting itself now are voice assistants.  At the moment they are largely focused on info- and entertainment which leads Kunz, Product Owner at R3PI, to believe  that there is a substantial opportunity in expanding their scope  to offer vehicle management related services to car owners and drivers. Imagine your car making suggestions on when and where to get your winter tires put on or your regular service done while also managing these appointments making the experience as seamless and unobtrusive as possible.

“It’s time for a break. I have ordered you a coffee ready to pick up at Starbucks, three blocks from your location.” Maybe your car also helps you book a hotel in case of unexpected travel delays. The opportunities are endless.

Voice assistants are still a challenge to perfect—obstacles like background sounds and lack of connectivity to WiFi impede the best customer experience. But we anticipate a world where voice assistants, automatic downloads and subscription models become the new standard for vehicle innovation, helping you learn more about the health of your vehicle while taking care of you.

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