Volkswagen is getting serious about building ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles as the German auto giant announced the launch of a spinoff company that focuses on “new mobility solutions.” The new standalone company, Moia, is based in Berlin and will soon start testing some of Volkswagen’s ride-sharing and car-sharing programs there. The company says it aims to generate “a significant share” of its sale revenue from the Moia services by 2025.
Why Brands Should Care
Besides Volkswagen, major automakers like Ford and General Motors have also been launching car-sharing services or partnering with Uber or Lyft to restructure its revenue streams, cash in on the rise of on-demand car services, and prepare for a not-too-distant future where consumers choose on-demand ride-sharing and carsharing services over private car ownerships. As development in this area ramps up, more and more consumers will soon become addressable as they ditch the steering wheels for the backseats, and brands will have to explore new partnerships and ad opportunities, such as Uber’s Trip Experiences, to capitalize on the consumer attention freed from driving.
Volkswagen has applied their autonomous car to building a semi-autonomous baby stroller. In a video that the German automaker’s Dutch office posted on Facebook, the prototype is shown to have automatic braking and auto-following capability, both enabled by an adaptive cruise control sensor, allowing the parent to walk or run with the stroller, hands-free.
What Brands Should Do
While just a prototype, the stroller presumably won’t be ready for consumer market in years, if ever. Nevertheless, this provides a great example for brands that are looking to find new ways to showcase some of their proudest achievements and innovations that are in development, while reaching out to a previously unreached audience segment.
Read original story on: The Verge
Volkswagen just announced at CES that both Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto will be available for its vehicles later this year. The technologies will work on VW’s MIB II dash electronics, which launched in some countries in 2014 and will come to the US in 2015. At last year’s CarPlay introduction, Volkswagen was one of the few big-name automakers to not appear on Apple’s partner list, but it looks like the German carmaker has changed its mind after all.
As part of Google’s “Art, Copy, Code” initiative to re-imagine advertising, the tech giant is developing the Smileage project in partnership with Volkswagen. The campaign leverages a social app that aims to make driving more fun by tracking your route, making driving suggestions and socializing activity while you’re in the car. The entire experience is powered by Google Plus and while it doesn’t have the capability at the moment, Smileage could benefit from bringing in interesting data points like speed and fuel levels to deepen their story.