The Dawn of In-Vehicle Voice-Activated Attraction Bookings
Anyone who travels by car with family or friends on a multiday vacation, or even a one-day jaunt to a theme park or attraction, knows that many decisions about what the group is going to do are made collectively right in the vehicle. This includes everything from what venues to visit, which attractions to see, where to eat (and when), where to spend the night, etc. Then there’s often a mad scramble to check operating hours, buy tickets, make dining and lodging reservations, and handle a host of other arrangements using smartphones.
Now, the ever-increasing sophistication of on-demand digital platforms will bring about a transformation in how these transactions will be carried out. Perhaps the most intriguing of these systems involves voice-activated personal assistants that allow anyone in the car to gather any information they need about an attraction and make all desired arrangements without searching through numerous screens on mobile devices. Even the driver can interact with the system without ever having to take eyes off the road.
With Forbes Magazine reporting an estimated $17 billion in leisure consumer spending will be generated by integrated, in-vehicle marketplace apps by 2025, it’s not surprising that major players are joining in. Bryan Biniak, CEO of Connected Travel, says the company has brought together a team of developers from industry-leading companies like Microsoft, GoPro, DreamWorks Animation, and Nokia to bring e-commerce and game technology to connected vehicles.
Connected Travel, headquartered in Pacific Palisades, California, demonstrated its platform in a partnership with Honda and Honda Dream Drive at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas. The integrated Honda Dream Drive provides drivers and passengers a complete end-to-end solution for a broad range of entertainment and conveniences while minimizing driver distraction. The proprietary voice-controlled interface allows users to explore destinations en route and make reservations and other travel arrangements.
The new technology introduces numerous associated marketing and sales opportunities for tourist businesses as well, according to
John Moon, chief operating officer of Connected Travel.
“Prior to arriving, it allows for safe connections with attractions and being able to organize and distribute information to a customer to buy admission, concessions, merchandise, etc.,” Moon says. “Because mobile connections have been building, some people don’t plan everything ahead of time. We see the travel time as aligned toward what they’ll be doing. They may decide time is short, and they want to park closer to the venue and also buy fast passes. Our platform integrates the transactions that are possible.”
Moon adds that an attraction can make its advertising to the vehicle occupants voice-interactive and promote enhancements like prepaid dining, tours, and more. Connected Travel says they are now looking for partners who want to deliver these applications.