Following mobile as the third screen, the car of the future is poised to become yet another screen where publishers and advertisers compete for attention.
A new report paints a picture of autonomous vehicles becoming a new frontier aggressively used by brands to build deeper digital relationships with customers.
The study by Forrester suggests that autonomous vehicles will reshape the global economy, dramatically impacting six industries: media, automotive, shipping and logistics, insurance, government and data security and privacy.
Forrester noted the two conflicting visons of self-driving cars: “Enthusiasts predict nirvana; commute time becomes leisure or productive time” and “skeptics foretell dystopia; mass unemployment.”
Autonomous cars will drive an advertising renaissance, according to the study. “Texting, setting the navigation and playing with the infotainment system all contribute to accidents,” states the report. “But in a world where transport is autonomous, people will consider the physical act of driving the distraction.”
Forrester suggests that the physical act of driving will be considered by some to be a nuisance that distracts them from more productive activities. This is projected to lead to an opportunity for brands to advertise on the newest customer touchpoints.
The next step is for car makers to moonlight as publishers, with an acceleration of investments in high tech infotainment.
Luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are expected to focus less on traditional factors like high-performance engines and suspensions and move to differentiating features such as ultra-high definition audio and video and other technological gadgets in cars to entertain and inform those in the car.
When self-driving cars materialize in the market, car companies will act as publishers, partnering with brands, according to the study, suggesting that car companies will sell ad space and digital relationship opportunities inside the new device experience.
Forrester imagines that car windows will become screens, opaque from the outside but acting as infotainment screens inside.
For those not so keen on the idea of self-driving cars, it won’t be until the year 2025 and beyond that the majority of new vehicles sold will be autonomous, according to the study.