Title: Will songs be written about autonomous cars? The implications of self-driving vehicle technology on consumer brand equity and relationships

Authors: Erik L. Olson

Addresses: BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien 37, 0484 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: Fully autonomous vehicles that take all the driving duties away from car passengers will soon be available from most of the world's automakers and a variety of world famous technology brands such as Google and Apple. While a number of legal and technical issues need to be resolved before self-driving cars can be commercialised, they are predicted to offer a number of potential advantages in terms of passenger convenience, safety, and comfort, although there is also speculation that the technology may reduce the emotional bond that many consumers have for cars and car brands. This paper uses branding literature and theory to predict how self-driving technology may change the influence of brands on consumer vehicle choice, including the desire to own a car, and the potential opportunities and challenges this will present to automotive and non-automotive brand managers and researchers.

Keywords: self-driving cars; autonomous vehicles; brand relationships; consumer brand equity; brand associations; brand love; self-driving vehicle technology; consumer relationships; emotional bonds; branding theory; consumer choice; vehicle selection; brand management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2017.081506

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2017 Vol.12 No.1, pp.23 - 41

Available online: 06 Jan 2017

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