How Volkswagen Plans to Win Back Millennials
It might be a losing battle, but car manufacturers like Volkswagen are working like fiends to keep millennials interested in driving. The biggest problem? They can't keep up with technology. There are four facts about Millennials (the population born between the late 1980s and 2000) giving OEMs like Volkswagen sleepless nights: • People between the ages of 16 and 34 drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than in 2001—"a greater decline in driving than any other age group," according to the US Public Interest Research Group. • Less than half of drivers 19 and younger got their licenses in 2008 compared to almost two-thirds in 1998. • Millennials like urban environments, which have lots of public transportation and things like CitiBike. • 40 percent would rather lose their car than their laptop. RELATED: This is What an iBeetle Looks Like
According to The Atlantic, Volkswagen seems to be working the hardest on this question. Its Electronics Research Laboratory, located in Silicon Valley, is packed with Millennials trying to solve the problem. One is well known already: the iBeetle. It's a collaboration between Apple and VW that involves docking your iPhone in a dash unit for full integration.
It was Apple CarPlay months before there was such a thing. Apple CarPlay is now slated to be in GM, FiatChrysler, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Mazda vehicles in the near future.
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VW is also developing a model equipped with cameras to snap pictures every 5 seconds while you drive. It will then weed out all the bad photos automatically and deliver you pics for posting to social media. The idea is Millennials love snapping photos and now your car can do it for you.
RELATED: Volkswagen XL1 Might Have Urban Feel Millennials Seek
VW is also looking into an app that will tell you when your stuff is getting ripped off. As explained in The Atlantic article, you embed personal belongings with a Bluetooth chip. If someone steals it from your car (like say a surfboard from a roof rack), the lights flash and your smartphone chirps that someone has swiped your board.
It apparently doesn't stop the theft. It just tells you in real time to get pissed off because you've been ripped off. Maybe the car will be able to take a selfie of the thief.
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