Autonomous Vehicle TechnologyOver the last few years in the automobile and tech industry, the term “self-driving car” has become a popular buzzword. With major advancements being made in this area from companies such as Tesla, BMW, and Google, autonomous vehicles will soon become a regular sight to our roads.

Autonomous vehicles bring many benefits with them, with a recent study from Intel claiming that around 585,000 lives could be saved due to self-driving vehicles between 2035 to 2045. The study also estimated that the cumulative revenue generated by the autonomous car industry is estimated to increase from $800 billion in 2035 (base year of study) to $7 trillion by 2050.

This rise of autonomous vehicles will also usher in a new era of marketing. Below are some of the ways in which autonomous vehicles will open doors for marketers in future.

Big Data

Big data is already a huge part of our personal and professional lives, and with the rise of autonomous vehicles, this will only increase further. It has been estimated that just one autonomous car will use around 4,000 GB of data per day. This data will mostly be generated from car sensors for driving purposes, but the amount of user-generated data will also be significantly more than our present usage.

With this increase in consumer data comes more monetisation opportunities. For example, retailers will be able to determine their inventories and store footprints much easier from the collected data related to traffic, driver behaviour, and driving patterns. Advertisements and promotions can also be further tailored with this data, with retailers able to segment customers driving in front of their stores to go on to create highly focused marketing campaigns.


Despite the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar isn’t defunct just yet, with a recent survey from eMarketer claiming that nearly two out of three US shoppers preferring in-store purchases to online shopping. Even in the future, it’s likely that consumers will still visit physical stores to buy products such as groceries, clothing and electronic appliances.

With autonomous vehicles, marketers can use location-based marketing to take advantage of this. For example, say you are driving home from a tiring day at the office and cooking is the last thing on your mind – you’re about to pass a McDonalds. Your car displays or plays an audio message asking if you’d like to stop at the McDonalds just a few minutes away from your current location. The option to place an order and give payment may also be available so that when you pull up to the McDonalds all you need to do is collect your food.

Personalised Marketing

Today we see advertisements on the sides of buses, cars, and trucks, but once autonomous cars start rolling out, a new era of advertising will begin. Passengers will no longer have to manually drive anymore and will be able to go online anytime they desire. For marketers, this means that they will have passengers full undivided attention in the palm of their hands.

Brands will be able to make full use of personalised advertising with the data collected from the vehicles computer. Information such as the destination of the journey, the overall condition of the vehicle and the personal preferences of the occupants, can all be used to create these personalised adverts. For example, if you are heading to an outdoor park, you could receive adverts relating to camping or kayaking, or if you are a vegetarian heading into a city you could get results relating to vegetarian restaurants in that area.

Map Listings and Sponsored Drop-offs

Google Maps Listings feature allows local businesses to add and edit business information on maps as well as the overall web. They can also take it one step further and pay extra to get higher visibility on social media. Businesses can use this to their advantage in the era of autonomous vehicles by getting sponsored (paid) listings on maps to attract shoppers in the vicinity.

Autonomous public transport vehicles such as taxis will give rise to a new type of affiliate marketing. For example, if you are having a city break somewhere new and ask the computer to take you to the most popular bar in the centre, it could end up taking you to a sponsored drop-off. Through this type of affiliate marketing, local businesses could attract lots more traffic.

As self-driving vehicles eventually make their way onto the roads, marketers need to stay up-to-date in order to make the most of the opportunities that come with them.

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