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Chevrolet joined Tesla and Audi this week in building cars connected to 4G LTE Wi-Fi. The new capabilities could advance radio and mobile advertising to match ads to drivers’ habits and locations. In-car Wi-Fi would give a wealth of data about consumers, such as what route they take and where they stop for coffee or groceries.

 

Waze, a Google-owned Israeli navigation app, is doing something similar. As drivers use the app to navigate while driving, nearby businesses can pay to capture their attention. Waze’s popularity signals a demand: it has more than 50 million users and the average user spends 440 minutes on the app. And more than 50% of Waze users make stops for errands, shopping, and food, marking an opportunity for retailers.

 

Mazda, Subaru, and Fiat  – featured in a Flash of Genius in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto report – have used Waze creatively to promote their brand. Fiat sponsors posts targeting Brazil drivers that encourage users to stop by a nearby café, bookstore or ice-cream shop to wait while traffic passes. Mazda promotes its dealership on the app with location pins and banner apps that displayed information about the brand’s new Mazda 6 and CX-5 models.

 

In-store Wi-Fi would not only eliminate the necessity of partnership with third-party apps for targeted ads, it would allow auto brands to collect driver data even when they are signed out of the app.

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