Vertical markets provide a rich stream of revenue for companies who get their products adopted by major players within each sector. The same can be said for technology. As soon as one market leader adopts a service or feature, the others will soon follow, which is great news for chatbots, as the automotive market is finding out. 

As one company sees success with their bot, others are quick to adopt. Across the year, we’ve covered a range of vertical-focused pieces to show how chatbot adoption was coming along in key areas of business. Articles covering education, banking and hospitality helped set a basis for progression. Now let’s see how things have moved on since the spring, and how other verticals are making use of chatbots.

Automotive Driving Chatbot Adoption

Cars are rapidly turning into smarter, processor-laden, cloud-connected, devices in their own right. And, with more countries banning the use of mobiles at the wheel, the chatbot becomes the ideal interface for undistracted driving. Bots can provide benefits up and down the automotive value chain.

They can provide dealers with an easy way to talk to customers, book test drives while garages and repair shops can use them to maintenance slots. For example, UK van specialist Vanarama has a chatbot to handle queries. Friendly iVan can answer customer questions quickly and efficiently on any device to find information about vehicles and deals.

Car part companies can use them to speed up part queries and provide detail on deliveries without bothering the staff, but the key focal point is the driver of any modern vehicle. Car marques also use social media chatbots to get people talking about their latest models and exploring the new features to boost interest as part of a marketing drive. Banks and finance companies can use chatbots to get the signup process and deals sorted.

A confluence in advances of in-car technology, 5G networks, smart cities and others highlight how connected vehicles will change the business model for automotive brands. Using upcoming 5G data, self-drive systems and smart diagnostics, the car will be smarter in future. But the humble driver still needs a clear way to talk to the car, mobile services, while the dealer or maker can also keep the driver informed.

Chat With Your Car

Virtual assistants on-the-screen or in chatbot form can help with digital personalization, forming a relationship with the driver, reminding them to fill up or charge the batteries, top up the oil or check the tyres. The car can also nudge the driver if they are showing signs of tiredness, or when it is time for a service or explain if there’s a problem.

The check engine light is a blight on drivers lives, and a chatbot could help the driver learn more about what a problem is and the urgency with which it needs to be dealt with. But bots and virtual assistants can be used for more positive uses. Ford’s new Fusion models come with an EcoGuide – a virtual driving coach that keeps drivers informed in real time about the efficiency of the vehicle and their driving.

In 2017, Mercedes Benz started rolling out “Ask Mercedes,” in some regions. This chatbot that uses augmented reality functions can help new drivers find their way around the dash of their new car. Owners can talk to it, or take a photo of a button they’re unsure about and it will provide information about what it does and how to use it.

It understands naturally spoken language and questions formulated in a wide variety of ways. “How can I drive more economically?” is understood just as easily as “What is DYNAMIC SELECT?” The bot will be available in more languages and regions over time.

While some drivers might think the use of a chatbot in a car adds to the cost, overall it can help reduce expenses. There’s less cost in printing manuals, reduced need for support staff on call and the chance to upsell services and products that a driver might otherwise be unaware of.

Finally, when it comes to self-driving taxis in the near future, bots can save the maker putting expensive hardware in the car that could be damaged. These mini self-driving city cabs will whizz people around town, with no need for a screen or other touchpoint.

Whatever the business, most automotive brands still rely on their websites for customer interaction and it is here where chatbot is starting to dominate, saving call center staff from dealing with routine queries. Services like SnatchBot provide a wide platform and the tools for businesses of all sizes to create bots that benefit the business and the customer.