Car makers these days, especially here at CES 2019, are making a lot of noise about turning their vehicles into media landscapes and commerce locations.
You may say wait a minute, I got my phone, everything I need is right here.
But they think they can make it more engaging and frankly put it on a bigger screen.
So let's see what Honda's dream drive Driver edition looks like.
It's a Car Play app.
You load it up on your iPhone.
Android will be coming.
But right now, it's Car Play.
It shows up as a Car Play app, obviously.
This is one of the few they've added to this.
And here are your basic functions.
You can find parking through it.
And again, this is all going through the car's connectivity through the phone.
This is not using a vehicle's built in WiFi, so you wouldn't need to have that.
After parking you've got food you can order.
This is a grubhub service.
All these are partnerships, name brand partnerships with the usual search, sort and tools you got to look for something.
Sharing your location through glimpse, a couple of car makers use this.
Now Honda is on board, finding restaurants.
This would be Yelp, I believe the reservations are also through Yelp reservations and they've got parking integrated there, because that's also part of this.
Loop that in, so you give me a cohesive experience.
And of course the perennial, the one we always do in the car, where should I find the best priced gas that's nearby and pay for it.
Now this one is the one I find interesting.
Let's say I go to Costco and get some gas and I wanna pay at the pump.
Because you've got a credit card registered with this app, this is not just with Apple but with this particular app, you can say, pay at the pump.
They I'll say that my registered card is my payment method, and I go, and I confirm.
Put my gas in, and then when I come back to the car, it's already been charged.
Now you see I'm doing all this with the screen.
The interface is really nice, Honda's come a long way in their in car telematics lately.
However, They want you to use voice a lot, obviously.
There's the voice button up there, but that will not be Siri.
This is gonna be their own voice processing in the cloud specifically for this app.
That's gonna be a key lynch pin.
How well that works will make or break the ability to do this with voice, which is essential when driving.
I've found eight available restaurants.
[UNKNOWN] Sushi, located three point one miles away, with a rating of four and a half stars.
Do you want this one?
No, because that's not pizza.
Now let's see the part for the passenger, that's gonna be a little longer coming.
This is a whole suite of things for the passenger to do that are vehicle relevant.and also have an interesting little commerce scheme going on.
So here's the play tab for example, a whole variety of games in here, many of which are exclusive to Honda.
You've also got comics in here that are going to be exclusive to them.
They're working with DC Comics for example, and they've got content you wont find anywhere else, including story lines If you go to watch, you may find what looks like a streaming video area.
It's not yet, that's for the future Right now these are trailers of movies, notice they're by category.
So you're out driving around and you say, "Let's go see a movie.
What kind you wanna watch?" Maybe a drama?
Let's check out a trailer, you can look at that and then once you go to that point.
Notice here, powered by atom tickets, you can find theaters near you that are showing, show times today and go ahead and say "Let's go there." Now the ticketing is still not yet done in the app, but again that's an iteration they're likely to add to.
Now of course radio is central to the vehicle experience, right?
So under listen you get your various radio options.
AM and FM and satellite radio, of course.
And they'll be building out a suite of the streaming Radio companies, if you will.
Radio.com is intercom, iHeart Media's gonna be in here, as well, with their stations, as well as their streams, their podcast, what you find always on iHeart.
And this is gonna control the entire vehicle, whereas some of the other experiences I've shown you are more passenger-centric, just for the passenger.
To do locally, this'll operate the whole car of course.
And under explore they've worked with triple A saying those guys have a lot of great local travel data.
Let's pull that in here.
This is not Google Maps, which is what you'd normally expect.
This is a separate kind of data.
You can either do a search for what you're looking for: hotels, restaurants, shops.
That kind of thing.
Or you can do surprise me.
We're here in Vegas so it's kind of nice that you can actually do basically A slot machine of places to go.
I'll be honest I have my doubts that a car maker and AAA, for example, can really challenge Google, the Internet and social platforms in terms of recommendation and discovery Some of these services definitely seem like the B team.
But let's where this goes by launch.
Now many of these are based on points.
Things you might buy or purchase in here are not done with a credit card on file.
They're done with points you earned by driving.
Both miles and hours in the car, passenger and drives, are gonna give you points.
It's kinda like flying, to be honest.
I'm always concerned about the lack of merchant choice in these points programs.
And the idea that I'm gonna earn my points by doing something I want to do less of in my life.
Sit in the car.
But the vague gamification angle might have some legs.
Now, what Honda's doing overall between driver and passenger is to try and create the future of the car as a commerce and media landscape.
This is a big trend that we're hearing all around the auto industry right now.
It's going to happen before autonomy That's another era, when we're really going to have time to be diving into the different experiences but carmakers are already preheating the stove, if you will, to get people used to more going on as a media scape and a commerce scape, not just a place to sit and stare at your phone and check Facebook.