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Brief Published: 13 Dec 2018

Disney & Audi's Streaming Service for Driverless Cars

Disney and Audi have announced a partnership ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that will see the entertainment giant develop a new streaming service for Audi's future autonomous vehicles. The project points to huge upcoming opportunities for media brands to take advantage of the free time consumers will gain when driverless cars hit the mainstream.

Nils Wollny, Audi's head of digital business strategy and customer experience, described the partnership's goal as creating "a new media type that isn't existing yet that takes full advantage of being in a vehicle".

"What we've focused on is... not at all a classic marketing partnership [of the sort] that very often happens between automotive companies and media companies," he added. "We created something completely new together, and it's very technologically driven." It's speculated that the format will involve virtual and augmented reality technologies.

Audi is investing in new media platforms to take advantage of what it calls the "25th Hour" – the time consumers will regain as a result of the rise of autonomous vehicles. Other brands across automotive, advertising and entertainment are also looking at its potential. Elon Musk is said to be adding video streaming to his next Tesla firmware update, while Japanese ad agency Dentsu is currently working with the Center for Research on Adoption of NextGen Transportation Systems (CRANTS) to develop content and advertising delivery systems for the mobility society of the near future.

Autonomous cars may become the new living room, and considering Americans spend an average of 17,600 minutes driving every year (American Driving Survey, 2018), the engagement opportunities for brands will be huge.

For more on the future of media, see our 2018 Pop Culture Review and The Future of Television.