Commentary

Marketing Of Self-Driving Cars Still Faces A Bumpy Road

While autonomous cars still have a way to go in a range of areas, they have no problem in continuing to grab headlines.

Another Tesla car crashed in China while in ‘autopilot’ mode, with the driver saying that he was sold on the idea of the car being self-driving by salespeople.

Tesla confirmed the car was in autopilot mode, which gives control of steering and breaking in certain conditions. Tesla says that the driver’s hands are supposed to stay on the steering wheel when in this mode.

This Beijing accident, in which the Tesla hit a vehicle parked off the road, with no one hurt, follows a widely reported recent fatal accident by a Tesla driver using the car’s autopilot system. In that accident, neither autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied, according to Tesla.

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The impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S, killing the driver.

As more self-driving or semi-self-driving cars take to the roads, a flood of issues is coming along for the ride.

These issue will have to be resolved before marketing and advertising is allowed to play any kind of significant role inside vehicles, in terms of interacting with a driver who isn’t driving.

There ultimately may be multiple ways for marketers to interact with those in cars down the road.

At the MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum last week, one agency exec noted that he is working with an automotive company that is devising a vehicle with 20 screens.

Japan last month became one of the first markets to allow vehicles to use cameras instead of mirrors.

Cameras can capture wider view than traditional mirrors and can see blind spots, sending images to screens in the car.

So you can see where this is going.

There still is the liability issue, as in who can be blamed in an accident if no one is technically driving the car.

In yet another development, Volvo’s CEO just announced the car company would take full liability whenever one of its cars is in autonomous mode.

The marketing of self-driving cars is barely around the corner, but some of the paths forward are attracting some serious focus.

10 comments about "Marketing Of Self-Driving Cars Still Faces A Bumpy Road".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 11, 2016 at 9:19 a.m.

    Given the astronomical daily number of auto accidents with human drivers and the micro-minuscule number of accidents with computer-assisted drivers, it would seem that aiming for 100 percent perfection is an impossible goal. Your odds are better with a computer than without. And once the insurance companies start offering incentives (or penalties) it will be all over. We all have air bags in our cars, even though people are occasionally (very rarely) killed by air bags.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 11, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.

    Yes, Douglas, but that transiition period is a bit diffucult.

  3. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , August 11, 2016 at 1:33 p.m.

    Sooner or later you folks will catch up with me and figure out this IS THE DUMBEST IDEA OF THE 21st CENTURY.
    "Your odds are better with a computer" ???? are you kidding???????
    Hackers will ALWAYS  be one step ahead, and you will spend your whole life going to the dealer for a patch, a fix, or better yet a REFUND.   And the Insurance companies will be overurn with claims and can't figure out who to hold liable.............DUMB on every level
    Check 'is out:

    https://www.wired.com/2015/08/researchers-hacked-model-s-teslas-already/


  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 11, 2016 at 1:41 p.m.

    Thanks, Mark, though direct access to the car would still be needed, in the Tesla case.

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 11, 2016 at 1:56 p.m.

    For dumb ideas this one certainly makes my top ten. However the top spot is currently held by the GOP for allowing Trump to run as its Presidential candidate. That's one that is hard to beat----even the rather lame idea of a smart toilet, can't top "The Donald" trying to become president, considering his limited credentials and the insane way he behaves.

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 11, 2016 at 2:17 p.m.

    May be viewed that way, Ed, but automakers and others are moving ahead full steam.

  7. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , August 11, 2016 at 3:18 p.m.

    Chuck you are the epitome of a neutral guy..................way to go diplomacy !!
    but , I'm still betting the hackers will put this self driving car idea in the ditch.
    I have one car that doesn't even have electronic ignition.  NO WAY to hack or stop my car
    and I have complete control, my insurance company knows who owns and drives it , and I don't care what is on FACEBOOK WHEN i DRIVE IT.
    ED, I agree.  321,000,000 people in the land and this is the best we got?   The "other" candidate could not pass a background check to work in the "other other's" candidate's  corporation.

  8. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, August 11, 2016 at 4:10 p.m.

    Not to be neutral, Mark, but I do grasp both sides of the equation here, spending time with the creators of the tech and closely tracking consumer research relating to it, much of it being in sync with your views.

  9. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, August 11, 2016 at 5:46 p.m.

    The irony here is that the debate about whether cars should be allowed to use autopilot is the use of the term "autopilot" to describe it, since we seem to not have the same fear of flying in fuel-laden planes, tens of thousands of feet in the air, at hundreds of miles per hour, all while controlled way over 90% of the time by the original "autopilots"; i.e; a series of computers, on the plane and on the ground, with a human or two who are - hopefully- sort of able to take-over if things go wrong.  

    That being said, my own aversion to owning an auto-piloted car is the fact that I really enjoy driving, and I choose my cars primarily on their "fun to drive" factor.  So I guess when the roads become full of computer-driven vehicles, those of us who do enjoy driving can just treat them all like moving chicanes.  Zoom, zoom!  ...gotcha!  

  10. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 11, 2016 at 8:32 p.m.

    Valid points, Chuck, though there are hardly as many planes as cars in motion simultaneously (to state the obvious). The factor of fun to drive or simply enjoying driving is frequently brought up.

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