The dash for the dashboard

Simon Gannon

In our latest content, the Dash for the Dashboard, we examine the relatively recent shift in the balance of power from traditional motor manufacturers to the tech giants of Silicon Valley. Where driving was for 100 years an experience traditionally dominated by industrialised manufacturing giants, key players now include the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon and Uber.
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The role of the car as we know it is changing. It’s expected that within the next 10 years the idea of owning our own vehicle will become less popular as we shift to the idea of ‘mobility-as-a-service’.

The digital transformation that has disrupted so many industries is impacting the automotive sector, with the digital experience becoming central to users’ motoring aspirations. Not forgetting that driverless cars are becoming a not too distant reality too.


So how did this transformation happen?

In the 1980s, cars were sold on the basis of performance. In the 1990s and 2000s, cars were sold on highly targeted lifestyles to attract target segments such as the youth market or families.

This year, for the first time, media advertisements for vehicles have appeared which don’t promote mobility at all, concentrating instead on the in-car experience: it’s all about the entertainment system, not horsepower. In-car technology has been led by familiar names: Apple, Amazon and Google. Aside from safety and reliability, it’s the technology that gets consumers excited.

Looking further ahead as we move to a driverless future, we can also expect media owners, app developers, and even business and productivity businesses to join the fray.

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