Think Super Bowl for cars. This weekend marks the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show in Las Vegas. While the product focus will be on sustainability, the retail focus will be on a slew of innovations around connected cars and connecting the people who drive them.
Innovation talk will undoubtedly surround the first successful trial of 5G technology for connected cars. The surprise announcement was made Tuesday (Feb. 11) by Nokia and SoftBank. Working with Honda engineers, the trial tested three use cases, which show some of the exact goals for using 5G in autonomous as well as human-driven cars. The first use case was sending location information of surrounding vehicles at intersections with poor visibility, the second was sensing identification and notification for falling objects on the road and the third use case involved recording and sending 4K video and images taken from in-vehicle cameras.
Nokia believes 5G will ensure vehicles can interact safely and efficiently on road networks. It wants to ensure 5G technology can be utilized fully in the future connected car market, which is projected to reach over $225 billion in value by 2025. John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said, “These trials demonstrate that 5G technology can be successfully, safely and efficiently utilized in the connected car market. We look forward to further develop research in this exciting space and bring 5G-connected mobility solutions to the roads.”
While the Nokia announcement will turn heads, it won’t overshadow more immediate uses to connect dealers to consumers at NADA. In this business the term “in market” equals opportunity and anything else from a marketing perspective is considered wasteful. No surprise then that online marketplace and automotive digital solutions provider Cars.com Inc. is launching FUEL™ In-Market Video (FUEL IMV), which is focused on the $9.7 billion spent on TV advertising by the U.S. auto market. The new solution is designed to help dealers identify in-market shoppers and also identify media inefficiencies. Video through Cars.com will give in-market buyers the ability to click for more information or connect online with dealerships. Dealers can also claim their preferred ZIP codes, giving them access to data about households currently shopping for vehicles.
According to Cars.com, more than 50 percent of U.S. automotive advertising spend goes toward traditional, untargeted TV at a time when consumers are spending more time on mobile devices. Its research shows that less than 5 percent of households in a local market are serious about buying a new or used vehicle. Finding them will require better data. Video, according to the company, will produce more data and give it a head start into a media that is predicted to increase at a rate of 19 percent to $4.8 billion in the automotive space by 2023.
A recent FUEL IMV pilot worked for a Hyundai dealership in Atlanta. The dealership saw a 153 percent spike in new users on its website, a 31 percent increase in traffic and a 180 percent increase in referral traffic from social media as a result of using digital video.
The connected car concept is quickly finding two areas: the technology that connects cars to the internet (or 5G) and the technology that will allow dealers to connect to consumers. Expect more platform announcements for 5G now that the Nokia test is over, and expect more innovative media solutions for dealers.