China – Mini has unveiled its new intelligent personal assistant at the Auto Shanghai international trade fair. A digital English bulldog called Spike, the assistant will be accessible via the cockpit of the five-door Mini Concept Aceman.
The bulldog, with its compact and powerful stature, reflects British heritage and the characterful Mini brand, which has long been associated with Britishness. Although Spike is not new – Mini introduced him in 2001 – his new digital version further strengthens the brand’s connection with drivers’ individual style. More importantly, it offers a more emotive interface with the car as consumers become ever more comfortable with using bots and avatars as interfaces.
The introduction and upgrade of digital features in the auto sector comes at a time when cars are increasingly drawing on virtual platforms, extended reality and even cryptocurrency to create immersive and entertaining in-vehicle experiences, as revealed in our Auto Entertainment report.
Optimising digital frontiers to make vehicles more fun and interactive can attract younger auto consumers – and also help to build more emotive relationships with consumers.