For the past 15 to 20 years, consumers have had the luxury of purchasing goods from the comfort of their own home through the power of e-commerce. However, it is only in the last couple of years consumers have only begun to adopt mobile payment options that allow shoppers to buy a cup of coffee with their smartphone.
In the near future, consumers will be able to purchase stuff as they drive their vehicle.
This week, Visa will announce a partnership with Pizza Hut and Accenture at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that will develop the concept of in-car commerce even further. According to a press release, the trio will showcase a new proof-of-concept connected car program that will permit drivers to order and pay for pizza by simply using car dashboard software.
Spectators will be given a glimpse of a vehicle that will combine the payment features offered by Visa Checkout, Accenture’s technical system integration and Pizza Hut’s mobile app. This spring, the three companies will run a three-month test run in Northern California to determine the success of the program.
Bill Gajda, Visa’s senior vice president of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, explained in a statement that the in-car commerce experience is growing, and the three brands didn’t want to waste an opportunity to collaborate and further expand this technical advancement.
Gajda estimated that 250 million cars worldwide will have "some form of embedded connectivity" by the year 2020. It should be noted, however, that a Gartner report released late last year pegged that number at 150 million, but it’s still close enough. It may not necessarily be hard to imagine a connected car.
"As the number of connected cars on the road increases, so does our ability to bring secure online commerce to consumers everywhere," Gajda said in a news release. "We initially focused on a specific use case – ordering a meal on your way home – but we envision a world where consumers can seamlessly make many of their everyday purchases from the car.”
The three aforementioned companies aren’t the first entities to embark upon the in-vehicle commerce industry.
Earlier this year, Priceline announced a deal with General Motors’ Chevrolet that would see the online travel agency elaborate upon its mobile strategy by enabling motorists to locate hotels as they drive on the road.
This is also an aspect of Chevrolet’s AppShop, an in-vehicle app store that will soon feature The Weather Channel, Slacker Radio, Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio and Glympse. The AppShop will also be available for most 2015 Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models.
"Through this new partnership with General Motors, Priceline.com will be continuing our commitment to the highest levels of innovation when it comes to mobile travel,” said Brett Keller, chief marketing officer at Priceline, in a statement. “Mobile technology is transforming the travel landscape, and it doesn’t just include cellular phones anymore, it’s everything from smartphones to tablets to in your car on the go,” he said. “We are a mobile-first company and we know that cars represent the next wave of connected travel.”
In-car commerce is still in its infancy, and there aren’t too many opinions about this technology. One of the obvious complaints that some consumer agencies and law enforcement officials could have in the future is that it could contribute another layer to the issue of distracted driving, something the Federal Trade Commission has discussed.
Other concerns that privacy officials could maintain is that these in-vehicle apps could track motorists through location-based traffic.
With that being said, in-car payment methods could certainly open the door to greater technology to improve the driving experience. This could be autonomous driving or even improving driver safety.
Will consumers embrace this payment option? Sound off in the comments section below.