Traveling Auto Executives to Experience VR Before & After Trips Using Artificial Intelligence

Here is some Commentary and Positioning Information from MediaPost to show how & what is coming.

OK On AI And VR? by Har­vey Chip­kin, Colum­nist, Octo­ber 2017

Even as mar­keters are fig­ur­ing out how to max­i­mize mobile, here come more inno­va­tions speed­ing down the tech­nol­o­gy high­way: arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) and vir­tu­al real­i­ty (VR). It seems busi­ness trav­el­ers think these inno­va­tions are gen­er­al­ly pos­i­tive.

Accord­ing to the lat­est Egen­cia Busi­ness Trav­el and Tech­nol­o­gy Sur­vey, more than half (55%) of U.S. busi­ness trav­el­ers believe AI advance­ments can improve their trav­el expe­ri­ences, with 62% reject­ing the belief that AI and VR could end mankind as we know it today, as thinkers like inven­tor Elon Musk believe. While U.S. busi­ness trav­el­ers are cau­tious­ly opti­mistic that emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies can improve their busi­ness trav­el expe­ri­ences, they rec­og­nize the need for bal­ance between tech­nol­o­gy and human inter­ac­tion.

In fact, we are already used to encoun­ter­ing AI in dai­ly life although we may not always think about it that way. As Michael Gul­mann, chief prod­uct offi­cer for Egen­cia, the busi­ness trav­el divi­sion of Expe­dia, Inc., said, “When I call my local piz­za place and their com­put­er tells them what I’ve ordered in the past, that’s AI.” He believes resis­tance to these tools is often cul­tur­al, includ­ing the way robots are depict­ed in movies. But Gul­mann con­tend­ed, “If your AI tells you that 27% of your cowork­ers book a cer­tain hotel when they trav­el to your Paris offices, that’s the same as turn­ing to your office­mates and ask­ing that ques­tion — except with more data.”

Gul­mann said that sim­i­lar to dis­rup­tors in oth­er tech­nol­o­gy-led indus­tries, invest­ments in new tech­nolo­gies that cre­ate sim­plic­i­ty and improve­ments in the expe­ri­ence “will ulti­mate­ly win over busi­ness trav­el­ers and dri­ve sig­nif­i­cant change in the over­all indus­try.” He said there is already a fun­da­men­tal shift hap­pen­ing in the trav­el­er mind­set, that com­pa­nies need to antic­i­pate trav­el­ers’ needs and sim­pli­fy all aspects of busi­ness trav­el, regard­less of how a trav­el­er choos­es to inter­act with trav­el com­pa­nies. Said Gul­mann, “There is a bal­anc­ing act for trav­el com­pa­nies to ensure they offer the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy, along­side the abil­i­ty for trav­el­ers to con­nect with a live per­son any­time, any­where.”

Mar­keters are already com­pet­ing on the effi­ca­cy of their AI vs. the oth­er guys and, said Gul­mann, “let­ting cus­tomers see who is mak­ing their expe­ri­ences more per­son­al­ized and who is mak­ing their trips sim­pler to deal with.”

Wendy Olson Kil­lion, glob­al senior direc­tor for Expe­dia Media Solu­tions, the adver­tis­ing arm of Expe­dia, Inc., said that when incor­po­rat­ing new tech­nolo­gies into the trav­el expe­ri­ence, “mar­keters need to ensure it’s ful­ly inte­grat­ed into the cam­paign and addi­tive to the con­sumer expe­ri­ence through­out their pur­chase jour­ney — from inspi­ra­tion and plan­ning to book­ing and in-trip.”

She said that if inte­grat­ed “cre­ative­ly and authen­ti­cal­ly” into cam­paigns, cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies — whether facial recog­ni­tion, vir­tu­al real­i­ty, 360-degree video or gam­i­fi­ca­tion — “can give con­sumers a sense of expe­ri­enc­ing a place or activ­i­ty, and instill a curios­i­ty that leads to book­ing.” She said her com­pa­ny is “always exper­i­ment­ing with new and inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies to help mar­keters reach and engage trav­el­ers, and we see a future where new advances such as voice, aug­ment­ed real­i­ty and vir­tu­al real­i­ty can cre­ate even more per­son­al­ized and immer­sive expe­ri­ences, which will be key to con­sumer adop­tion.”

Oh, no — more inno­va­tions. Voice, aug­ment­ed real­i­ty … what­ev­er comes next. Relax. They’re already here and you’re already using them. If the piz­za store can do it, so can you.

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