Driverless Cars: A Revolution for Automakers, Consumers and Advertisers

July 14, 2017

Driverless cars: what used to seem like something out of a science fiction movie is now an automotive actuality. In just a few, short years, 19 major brands including FordToyota and Nissan will be ready to put driverless cars on the road. In fact, Breakaway client, Elektrobit—a pioneer in embedded automotive software—is working with many automakers to bring vehicles with highly advanced driver-assistance systems to market.

The rise of autonomous vehicles will not only make commuting a breeze but it will also permanently change the global ad industry. With the increased free time self-driving cars give consumers, there is an enormous opportunity for advertisers to attract, retain and engage them with video ads on in-car displays. This new breed of cars is a revolution for automakers, consumers and advertisers alike.

Although the autonomous car seems to have come out of nowhere, it has been almost 100 years in the making. In 1920, Francis W. Davis developed the hydraulic power-steering system, which reduced the physical effort necessary to turn the wheel. While this might seem like a simple and necessary development, it set the driverless car in motion by inspiring cruise control, a feature that has evolved into the ultimate self-driving machine: the autonomous vehicle.

Driverless cars are set to improve the roads by removing any chance of human errors — which account for around 90 percent of motor vehicle crashes—but many don’t think about the opportunities they represent for advertisers. Jim Harrison, global CE of Gain Theory claims that “cars are essentially becoming the next must-have mobile device.” They are going to make it possible to seamlessly bring your living room and office into your “auto room.”

Driverless cars are going to make it possible for consumers to keep up with their daily tasks while commuting.  For those of us always on the go, this has the potential to vastly improve our productivity. For advertisers, having the opportunity to reach drivers during their ride time with little distraction means a greater chance of an interactive audience. Automakers will benefit from both advertisers and consumers as spending in the autonomous-car industry will explode to $43.2 billion globally, receiving profit from not only the car itself but also from the services that will be consumed while not driving.

When it comes to the future of cars, the only question is “what’s next?”