The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is also an automotive show. So far, CES 2018 has underscored the rapidly evolving nature of the 4Ps of Automotive Marketing™ (product, price, place, and person) – especially product. Highlights of the first few days include:

Augmented reality (AR) Re-imagines the Driving Experience

On January 7, software maker NVIDIA unveiled a development kit, DRIVE AR, that will help software developers create AR applications that will improve driving. According to an NVIDIA announcement, “DRIVE AR will enable next-gen augmented reality interfaces that deliver information points of interest along a drive, create alerts and navigate safely and easily.”[i] For example, DRIVE AR will help manufacturers overlay on to vehicle windshields information such as road conditions and directions.

Rolling out a development kit can be an effective way for a company to embed its product across an ecosystem and thus encourage its uptake. For example, in 2017, Apple released ARKit, which makes it possible for developers to create AR apps integrated with the iPhone. So far, nearly 2,000 such apps have been created, according to Apple.[ii]

The Merging of Product and People

Nissan is demonstrating its new Brain-to-Vehicle technology that makes it possible for a car to read the driver’s mind.

The idea behind B2V technology is to make driving safer. Using a skullcap that reads a driver’s brain waves, B2V senses a driver’s physical reactions and initiates actions such as turning a corner or applying the brakes. B2V reads the electrical patterns in a person’s brain with a method called electroencephalography (EEG). Although EEG is still developing, Nissan believes it can become a reality within five-to-10 years, according to an email the company sent to The Verge.[iii] Meanwhile, Nissan announced that B2V will improve driving in two key ways[iv]:

Predict: By catching signs that the driver’s brain is about to initiate a movement – such as turning the steering wheel or pushing the accelerator pedal – driver assist technologies can begin the action more quickly. This can improve reaction times and enhance manual driving.

Detect: By detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode.

In the announcement, Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci said, “When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable. Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are moving people to a better world by delivering more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.”

These are exciting times for the automotive industry. Dealerships should watch closely the developments coming out of CES and be prepared to discuss with customers how vehicles are evolving. Shows such as CES give dealerships an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership digitally (such as your website blog) and on the lot, where your salespeople can act as consultants to discuss these developments with customers.

Stay tuned for more updates from GrowWithCars.



[i] NVIDIA, “NVIDIA Captures Pole Position at CES Amid Flurry of Auto News,” January 7, 2018.

[ii] Apple, “App Store kicks off 2018 with record-breaking holiday season,” January 4, 2018.

[iii] The Verge, Nissan’s future cars may read your brain to prevent accidents,” January 3, 2018.

[iv] Nissan, “Nissan Brain-to-Vehicle technology redefines future of driving,” January 3, 2018.