Car builders announce digital enhancements to their vehicles
THREE car builders have announced digital extensions of their driving experiences, with Mercedes-Benz adding Facebook Messenger Chatbot, Toyota giving drivers who leave their cellphones alone a coffee and the Renault Nissan Alliance partnering with Microsoft “to deliver the future of connected driving”.
Merc is building on the over one million followers on its Facebook page by connecting these active fans with Facebook’s Chatbot. Merc said this function will help the brand interact with its audience in South Africa.
In Japan, Toyota has introduced a Barista app in the Aichi Prefecture — the district with the highest vehicle collision rate on the island.
The app uses the gyro sensor and GPS in smartphones to measure how far the driver drove while leaving the smartDriving phone facedown, and rewards every 100 km with the phone on its face with a coupon to be spent at a top coffee shop. The Driving Barista aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by drivers using their smartphones while driving.
For 13 consecutive years, Aichi Prefecture has had the highest rate of traffic fatalities in Japan. In 2015 alone, there were 443 691 traffic accidents that resulted in injuries or deaths.
Renault and Nissan partnered with Microsoft to develop the next generation of technologies that will advance connected driving experiences worldwide using the Microsoft Azure cloud.
The partnership will accelerate development of best-in-class infotainment and location-based services that will allow customers to, among others, personalise and protect their settings, work while being driven, download updates, monitor the car from a distance and even prevent theft of cars through “Geofencing” technology.
If this Nissan Leaf concept ever gets built, the Renault-Nissan alliance and Microsoft plan to keep the passengers connected to the cloud.