Not only will these vehicles employ a host of technologies to make the roads safer and occupants happier, but they also will help new-car dealers streamline their operations and solidify long-term relationships with their customers, according to Michael Burdiek of CalAmp, David Braunstein of Together for Safer Roads and Brian Greaves of AT&T.
Improving driver safety with instant post-crash event reporting to law enforcement is the most obvious application for this high-tech data connectivity. “If you can reduce the time that first responders take to get to a vehicle – to get to a person who has been injured – you dramatically improve their chance of survival in a crash,” Braunstein said. “Not only more rapid response, but more informed response about the relative severity of the accident and the dynamics surrounding the accident ultimately helps first responders provide the right assets to respond to the accident,” Burdiek added.
The second most obvious application of connected technology is to provide occupants with richer entertainment, infotainment and communications solutions. An ecosystem of third-party vendors, partners, OEMs and suppliers is being developed to provide a robust telematics platform to serve consumers and dealers equally.
“From the dealer perspective, these technologies give them an opportunity to engage over a longer life cycle with the customer,” Burdiek said. “Telematics makes it possible to further improve consumer engagement, for things such as service and maintenance programs and tailored messages about the status of their vehicles,” he added.
“I think what the dealers are really doing is establishing trust with their consumers by having these types of technologies, whether it is embedded or aftermarket,” Greaves said. “This information is now at their fingertips where they can better message with the consumer, bringing them back to the dealership. Dealers will know what is going on with their car before the owners do and they can message appropriately with the appropriate services or the appropriate actions that are required. There is also a huge opportunity for upsell, not only at the point of sale for new vehicles to add on these additional services, but also in the aftermarket.”
A third but perhaps less understood application for connected technology is how car dealers can use it within their operations. The telematics platform can be added to every new vehicle that comes onto the lot and configured to tell dealers exactly which vehicles are on the lot, where the vehicles are located, whether they are available for a test drive and even how much fuel they have in them, for example. The technology can then be re-purposed for consumers post-sale with a focus on safety, entertainment and communications.
“That is very powerful for the dealers as they can rely on the same telematics technology platform that has the various value-added features, in addition to safety and security attributes.” Burdiek said. “Many of the dealers are trusted advisors to their customers,” Braunstein added. “They want to have a long-term relationship with them and there is no better way to do that than to give them the peace of mind that you’re keeping them safe.”
This was originally provided by Matt Aukofer of the US National Automobile Dealers Association and is reproduced courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at; http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/ for this and many other informative and educational article on the collision repair industry.