The word mobility, in a straightforward sense, means “the ability to move”. Yet today it has adopted a meaning that is much more complex. This concept has capsized the automotive industry, forcing upon it change in almost every way including the manner in which vehicles are produced, their physical anatomies and, perhaps most importantly, their value offerings to the final customer. Today vehicles are transforming into connected devices, as if they were computers on wheels, and this is welcomed by consumers. According to a survey conducted by Groupe Reworld Media this year, 69% of respondents expressed an interest in benefiting from obtaining personalized content aboard their vehicles, suggesting that consumers are ready for their cars to evolve into cars not only as a mode of transportation, but also as an opportunity to engage with enriching content.
With the nature of the automotive industry changing so quickly, Relaxnews decided to explore the future of the relationship between content and automotive by organizing the Newstech Talk: Automotive & Content seminar. With the help of some keynote speakers, the event explored how intelligent content is changing the way the world thinks about mobility, and to introduce these highly anticipated themes, Relaxnews brought in key industry leaders such as: Luc Chatel (Ex-Minister and President – PFA), Arnaud Belloni (SVP Global Marketing Communications – Citroën), Franck Louis-Victor (Global Director – Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Connected Products and Services), Francis Morel (Senior Advisor McKinsey and ex-President – Les Echos), Andy David (Editor-in-Chief – Auto Moto), Jean-Baptiste Burdin (Executive Creative Director – Publicis.Sapient), Laurent Frisch (Data Director – Radio France), Patrice Monti (Commercial and Marketing Director – AFP), Benoit Raphaël (CEO – Flint), Frédéric Sitterlé (Director of Development – Groupe Challenges), Sandrine Vissot-Kelemen (General Director – Publicis.Sapient), Jeremy Barré (UX Lead – Publicis.Sapient), Alexandra Montaron (Strategic Planner – Relaxnews), Mathieu Bully (CTO – Chief Platform Officer – Relaxnews) and presented by Jérôme Doncieux (CEO – Relaxnews) and Litale Kahn (Product Manager – Relaxnews).
In recent years, autonomy has been the hot topic in mobility, and now, nearly every major player in automobile manufacturing is racing to produce the first commercially available fully-autonomous vehicle. But self-driving is not the only feature we can imagine as being a consequence of this evolution. In a world where “drivers” no longer exist, transportation becomes time that passengers can use for themselves, and car manufacturers have already begun to explore a world of scenarios presented by this opportunity. They have begun by developing concepts for intelligent cockpits equiped with voice assistants, connected capabilities and content programs that offer everything from articles to television shows, all to participate in the “CARversation,” or the concept of vehicles offering a variety of contents. Although the technology for full-autonomy is many years away from being perfected, semi-autonomous features are already commercially available and allow drivers to more easily engage with their preferred content.
The “CARversation” proposed that vehicles are a means for passengers to consume content for personal gain and added value to their daily lives. In fact, a study conducted by Groupe Reworld Media found that when in their vehicles 36% of passengers are looking to engage with personally enriching content, 27% prefer entertaining content and 24% are looking for content that can help them relax. This suggests that passengers and drivers prefer leisure content, or content that is light and diverting, to offer a break from the stresses of the day. In addition, the same study found that 62% of respondents would use in-vehicle content as an opportunity to discover and learn rather than for work purposes, which also suggests that in-car content holds more value as leisure-based activities rather than an opportunity to focus on professional life. With this in mind, content and mobility providers can work to provide leisure audio content such as articles, music and podcasts that are entertaining or educational, but easily digestible, to offer passengers a diversion from their busy lives.
Furthermore, self-driving technology and content offers are enabling a move to the forefront of the industry’s efforts, voice assistants in particular will evolve to become increasingly important to the mobility of the future. This will require the implementation of intelligent voice assistants that have advanced semantic capabilities. In response, developers are attempting to create voice assistant systems that are capable of adapting to languages spoken with accents, responding in natural language and intelligently interpreting questions to give a more profound response than was possible before.
With the help of these voice assistants, the content of the future will become augmented, meaning it will no longer be passive content, offered from provider to consumer, but interactive. One way to interpret this is to focus on an in-print magazine. When published, the magazine’s articles are already written, so the content inside cannot change. However, with augmented content, articles will be read aloud in natural voice, so consumers may effortlessly ask to bookmark the article mid-read or obtain more information on a specific topic of interest. The voice assistants might even create individual playlists, made up of a mixture of media formats and sources, all personalized for the driver. So in the end, the most important aspect for each automobile provider lies in its content offer, particularly in its mixture of content
The mobility that today’s consumers are looking for goes far beyong transportation. For consumers, the change is about creating vehicles that are intelligent and enriching to their daily lives. As technology transforms both the mobility and media sectors, and the two become more and more intertwined, they must learn to evolve together to bring maximum value to their end consumers. If autonomy is the future of transportation, then the development of augmented content systems and intelligent voice assistants will be peridime to the mobility experience, which more than ever before, will take people further than their physical journeys.