I’ll bet that when Karl Benz first imagined his Motorwagen, he was thinking only about getting from point A to B. Yet because of its novelty and price, the automobile quickly became a status symbol, allowing misters to outrank cavaliers.
When Ford started mass producing cars, you couldn’t really call the automobile ‘your own’ as there was one model in one color. Would you like black, or black?
Later people were able to extend their identities onto cars a little more by choosing from a collection of models, colors and options. In this way the automobile went from being a simple transportation means and status symbol to becoming an outward expression of your personality. Don’t we all categorize the types of people who drive speedy red cars and big trucks? 😉
And now . . . and now I’m going to throw an idea at you that you may not agree with, but that I think is worth some chew time. Your car is not a car.
Jonathan Dutton and Anne Asensio explain this concept best in the below video (taken at the 2010 Paris Motor Show). They talk about the car becoming the “digital extension of your life”, the “sport for the purpose of your trip,” and a “physical platform.”
If your car is a physical mobility platform, then you can add all kinds of services and plugins to make it uniquely yours, which as Anne says will be the “21st century pleasure of automobile.”
Do you agree? Will you start to view your car as your device, a big iPhone on wheels . . .?