This week is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and each morning we’ve been inundated with updates on the newest unveilings from the electronics giants.
Today’s news seems to be focused on the internet going mobile. I am not talking about on your laptop or on your smart phone; I am talking, actually on the move. In your car.
Yes, that’s correct Ford has announced it will soon make an internet dashboard that will become a standard feature in all of its vehicles.
In today’s New York Times article titled “Despite Risks, Internet Creeps Onto Car Dashboards,” Ashlee Vance and Matt Ritchell give all the details of the new system:
“A complex new dashboard console from Ford, which it plans to unveil Thursday, brings the car firmly into the land of electronic gadgets. The 4.2-inch color screen to the left of the speedometer displays information about the car, like the fuel level, while a companion screen on the right shows things like the name of a cellphone caller or the title of the digital song file being played. An eight-inch touch screen tops the central console, displaying things like control panels and, when the car is not moving, Web pages. The system has Wi-Fi capability, two U.S.B. ports and a place to plug in a keyboard — in short, many of the features of a standard PC. The automakers’ efforts are backed by companies that make chips for PCs and that want to see their processors slotted into the 70 million cars sold worldwide each year.”
In addition to the new dashboard USA Today is reporting that Ford is also commissioning tech companies to create apps for this new system, one of which will read your tweets from Twitter out loud while you drive.
Obviously the concern here is safety. What does Ford have to say for itself? Jim Buczkowski, the director of global electrical and electronics systems engineering at Ford said, “We are trying to make that driving experience one that is very engaging.”
While in general, the concern here is that distracted drivers make for unsafe driving conditions for all, from a PR and marketing perspective, this also changes the game.
Currently, tradition media, both print and broadcast, is struggling to hold onto it’s advertisers who are opting for the higher traffic online and mobile outlets. Without advertising it is impossible from some of these traditional outlets to stay afloat. Brining mobile off of laptops and smart phones and into people’s cars give those advertisers one more reason to choose to advertise with online and mobile, as opposed to with traditional print or broadcast media which could be the final nail in the coffin for some of these struggling outlets.
Is Ford driving away with the future of traditional media?