Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Car Tech – The New Digital Channel Coming Soon

Just when you though we have enough digital channels, the market is going to get even more fragmented with the next generation of car technology. Car technology is changing as they are now connected to the internet that means you will be able to deliver ad messages to the user. Radio and billboards have a new player in town to compete for the car advertising dollar. Waze is doing this now for their GPS App and on-demand music steaming services like Pandora and Spotify will be part of this new digital ad eco-system.


The race to create the first driverless car is a development worth watching as the technology developed for it will create an innovation, we just don’t know what that will be yet. GM states that they will have a driverless car ready for the market in 2019 so it coming very soon. Uber is testing a self driving fleet of Ford Fusions in Pittsburg right now. (photo below)

 Source: MIT TEchnolgy Review

 Personally, the paper claims of passenger safety and convenience are over stated as computers have never achieved 100% availability, as sooner or later they crash or have to shut down for maintenance. They will also be subject to constant hacker attacks as a security concern. That’s right a hacker can now remotely steal your car in this future path. Nevertheless the connected car is here to stay, it is just a question of how far we go as a society to trust artificial technology vs. humans control. This MIT Technology Review article has some thoughts on this technolgy's potential . 


On the advertising side, this posting on Adweek by Thomas Bloch, an Asscoate Director at media agency PHD on the future impact it may have. 


“This opportunity will open up in two ways: first, as a precision marketing tool, using all the data the car will soon produce; secondly, as mass-reaching vehicle (pardon the pun), as self-driving cars become mini entertainment centres.

In the near future, autonomous cars will process staggering amounts of data: current and past destinations, speed of travel, demographics and biometrics of the riders, present and future weather, traffic conditions, and nearby landmarks and commercial locations—all of which marketers could access to achieve an unprecedented level of precision in consumer messaging.


Let’s consider what might soon be possible from a marketing perspective in this new channel for say, a coffee chain.


A passenger in a smart car passes a chain coffee shop on the way to work every morning. They have the coffee brand’s app. When they’re close, we programmatically target the rider, asking if they’d like to stop to pick up a medium soy latte—their preferred order at this time of day. If the rider says yes, their car is directed to the store, where their coffee is ready to be picked up at the counter,”

This type of consumer interaction is one future scenario that publisher’s must consider in their publishng roadmap. But, what can we get today and what is the experience now, I want to explore this new emerging channel where there is convergence of the smartphone and the car computer/stereo.


This year my wife and I exchanged our Christmas wishes and I told her I wanted to get a new car stereo as my old factory one is now obsolete with the latest changes in technology. I wanted to get one with a touch screen, GPS navigation and stereo. The slot in my vehicle for the device is a 7” w x 4” h,  a standard size.


In my search, I noticed that Android as an operating system is forever expanding its footprint in all devices; we see it in TV streamers (Oct blog) and now in car stereos. Android for the uninitiated is an open source software that was created by the developers of Google and they made it free to use, just like Linux.

 7” Android Car Player from EinCar

This is what I end up getting for $228 Cdn from a company called EinCar based in China, a 7” Android Car Player. This car stereo is part Android tablet, GPS navigation and stereo, just what I was looking for. This computer/stereo system includes a rear camera, USB and SD Card slots, Bluetooth, 3G wifi, video player and mp3 playback. It has 1G of ram and 8G storage powered by a Quad-Core 2GHz CPU. Because it is Android, I will have access to the Google Play store for their library of apps including games.



The smartphones are connected to the Android Car Player via Bluetooth to enable hands free dialling and talking and it comes with a phone keypad in the tablet’s software. The smartphone can also be used as an external device for music and video that can be played on the system through the USB port. You can use the SD card slot for your music as another option. The system suport both Android and Apple smartphones.

I will post my experience on this device later as part of a product review in  the ever-expanding footprint of Android devices in the “Internet of Things” marketplace that now includes smart fridges. I hope you have a great Christmas holiday season and enjoy peace and joy during this festive time. 

- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

Most Recent Blog Comment
Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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