At the 2012 SXSW an interesting phenomena is shaping up: the internet world collides with car technologies. Along with a large array of iPhone, iPad or Android apps, other technologies are now starting to appear in the car that we used to know.
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The most visible automotive presence, Chevy, ditches the traditional sale pitches in favor or free rides and charging stations that hope to allure new customers.
[Chevrolet] wants to be a part of the experience, and an enabler for the experience” that is SXSW, explained Chris Perry, head of U.S. marketing for GM. Participants are tech savvy and, very importantly, they’re hardwired into social media. “They’re influential, they have blogs, they use Twitter…we want to be helpful, in an organic way.”
Boston startup RelayRides partnered up with Chevy and its 12 OnStar enabled Volts models to provide rides throughout Austin. The cool electric vehicles are accessible via a smartphone application that allows for the car to be opened or locked remotely, as well as tracking it in real-time.
Peer-to-peer car-share service is huge these days and traditional automakers are starting not only to embrace new technologies that can make their cars more popular, but also invest in some of these startups as well.
Expect even more synergy between these two worlds in 2013.