Distraction be damned, people want more and more features jammed into their infotainment systems. Honda, happy to deliver, came to CES 2019 with a vast in-car platform that covers just about everything you could want.
Honda Dream Drive is a prototype that is all about that content, baby. Split between driver and passenger, with each being privy to different features, the ecosystem has evolved significantly from its initial concept at CES 2017.
The driver's experience with Dream Drive focuses largely on in-car purchases. It's working with Visa, Mastercard and PayPal to offer straightforward purchases without having to whip out a card. It'll cover your usual daily purchases like gas and parking, in addition to slightly more fun things like movie tickets and food delivery. The driver can make restaurant reservations and share the car's location with others. It's working with a bunch of companies on this, like Chevron, Grubhub, Parkopedia and Yelp.
For those not at the wheel, it's all about killing time. Passengers can watch movies, listen to music, check out nearby points of interest and control the car radio and other vehicle features. Better yet, it doesn't require some expensive rear-seat entertainment system -- it's all done through a person's mobile device. Some of the driver's features are available, too, so passengers can also buy movie tickets or whathaveyou from the back seat, too.
Honda's got a load of partners on the passenger-content side. The automaker collaborated with DC, Lego Group, Univision Music and a few other content creators to try and keep passengers entertained on long journeys. And yes, the DC tie-in means comic books are available for perusing.
Somehow, that's not all. There's also a rewards program wrapped around this entire ecosystem. People can get points for spending money in various ways through Honda Dream Drive, and those points can be used for... something. Honda was pretty vague about the perks of the rewards system, saying only that the points can be spent "at [a person's] favorite local and online retailers."
Dream Drive is still in prototype form, and Honda says it's willing to take on as many partners as it can handle, but the underlying bits of this system seem pretty darn ready for production. While some parts of the system are unique to Honda, GM has had success implementing marketplace-style features in its infotainment systems, as well. Just don't let your kids go wild with the credit card.
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