Tech Aimed at Existing Cars Provides Additional Opportunities

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【Summary】Putting new tech into existing cars can be an opportunity for marketers and tech companies.

Original Timothy Healey    Dec 08, 2016 10:30 PM PT
Tech Aimed at Existing Cars Provides Additional Opportunities

One analyst is arguing that excitement about tech in future cars is missing out – that current vehicles should also receive some of this tech.

It makes sense – consumers who purchased a car two or three years ago may not be ready to trade in just yet, and they may want to have tech similar to what's now on the market, or what will be offered soon. And some new tech is easy to add on to an existing vehicle.

Features like infotainment or in-car wi-fi can be added through the aftermarket, for example.

Tech companies are already on board – Alphabet/Google and T-Mobile, along with a host of small, relatively unknown startups, are among the companies offering aftermarket tech products.

This isn't just something for consumers to be excited about – it's also an opportunity for tech companies that are working their way into the automotive space. The future, both near- and far-term, provides for great opportunities, but so too does the present.

Other tech that can be added on to current vehicles includes autonomous driving features, include features that can add safety. That will help put older vehicles on par with newer ones.

Next year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which takes place in January, will likely give a guideline on which way the market is headed. Automakers have been increasingly active at the show, mostly showing off new and near-future tech, but it won't be surprising if suppliers, startups and other companies show off aftermarket-focused tech.

Tech isn't always the biggest factor in vehicle purchasing, of course, but for some folks it will be, and consumers who know that they can add this tech on to an existing vehicle might be used instead of new.

And some of this tech is pretty handy. T-Mobile, for example, is offering a plug-in dongle that can perform self-diagnosis for any maintenance or repair issues (Verizon mentions something similar). As for Alphabet/Google, the company is offering a car-friendly version of its Android operating system that replicates its Android Auto smartphone-mirroring system for vehicles that aren't equipped with Android Auto.

Whether it's related to safety or comfort and convenience, tech is important to consumers, and the aftermarket is a good way to get it to people who don't have the newest vehicles. That presents yet another opportunity for tech companies in an industry that is suddenly full of them.

So while much of the focus on tech in cars will be on the new and future markets, don't forget to keep an eye on the aftermarket. The trends there are just as important.

resource from: Seeking Alpha

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