Honda says ‘too many unknowns’ are halting the progress of driverless cars

The car brand, speaking around the launch of its new ‘Real View Test Drive’ campaign, says driverless vehicles still have a long way to go before going mainstream.

Honda is hoping a move to replicate the dealership experience through interactive online video ads will resonate with new drivers.

Its new ‘Real View Test Drive’ content suite allows viewers to watch four separate online ads for Honda’s Jazz, Civic, HR-V and CR-V models, with each having a storyline tailored around the specific model’s primary driver.

At any point in the interactive videos, which were created by DigitasLBi and will be hosted on Honda’s website as well as on YouTube, users can pause the story to get in-depth demos of features such as seating and interiors. The Civic ad also has a 360-degree video option, allowing viewers to get an idea of what it’s like to sit in the driver’s seat.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Honda’s European communications manager Louise Furneaux says a “VR experience” is the “natural progression” for future iterations of the campaign.

READ MORE: ‘The best advertising is gender neutral’ says Skoda as it talks up Sir Bradley Wiggins deal

She says the rise of the internet means car buyers now, on average, only visit 1.4 showrooms before making a purchase, with 90% using digital platforms to narrow down their final choice. As a result, Honda had to adapt its advertising model.

Furneaux explains: “We know more and more people now make decisions in the digital environment and realised we weren’t meeting their needs with our digital content. In 2017, the purpose of going to a dealership is to reinforce a decision rather than make a decision so we wanted to bring the type of demos people would experience in a dealership into a virtual setting.”

Toyota recently claimed Amazon would soon start selling vehicles online. And interestingly during the Honda demo session of ‘Real View Test Drive’, there was a noticeable “buy now” button that flashed up on the screen several times.

However, Furneaux insists it isn’t because Honda is about to start selling cars at the touch of a button. “It’s a red herring, ignore it as it won’t be in the final version,” she urges.

‘Unknowns’ around driverless

One thing she can’t deny is the pace at which major car brands are readying themselves for a driverless society. Hyundai has pledged a market-ready driverless model by 2020 and Ford is also investing heavily in the space. There is an expectation that autonomous vehicles will revolutionise the car market over the coming years.

However, despite the fact it is currently working with Google’s Waymo division to potentially integrate its self-driving technology into Honda vehicles, Furneaux insists Honda has “nothing firm on the horizon”.

She compares driverless cars to the idea of drone delivery, in that it will take “years of legislation and social change” before it becomes a reality. She concludes: “So many things still need to be considered, especially on the legislation side.

“Urban areas are such busy environments so there’s the concern of how driverless will work around other drivers, just as there is with delivery drones and privacy. There’s still so many unknowns and things to be considered before we move in any firm direction.”

Hide Comments1 Show Comment
Comments
  • yBrian Gilnert 22 Feb 2017 at 9:56 am

    OK so mixing driverless vehicles with driven vehicals is not workabke yet. BUT going completley driverless hired vehicles is not only practical but enormously profitable. They can run using existing road lanes as railways under central control like the railways.
    What are we waiting for?

  • Post a comment

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here