By Louis Gordon, Marcom Manager, Landa Digital Printing
So, is everyone ready for the “driverless” car? Sometime not too far off, Google Car will be the first such vehicle off the assembly line. It’s most notable feature will, ironically, be the lack of features we’ve come to expect from cars, like a steering wheel, or an accelerator, or brakes.
Are you on board? California, for one, may not be 100% convinced. The state where much of the Google Car testing has taken place just recently decreed that the car cannot be totally driverless; it must enable some human intervention or override.
Driving New Applications in Digital Printing?
Will Google Car roll into high gear, or get stuck in neutral while experts ensure it doesn’t wreak highway havoc? Either way, it would be fun to fantasize how Google Car could affect the printing business.
1. On the shop floor
Let’s start right inside your printing operation, where tons (literally) of supplies, palettes, rolls, boxes, and output are in constant motion to and from various points on the floor. Imagine a driverless vehicle – programmed with its coordinates – making all those deliveries. One could speculate that such a transporter could reduce fuel use, eliminate shop accidents (or scuff marks on your walls), and improve just-in-time refills of paper, inks and other supplies.
2. Delivering the goods
Okay, now it’s time to ship that printed matter from you to nearby customers – could be short runs of brochures, or proofs, flyers, business cards, stationery, POP materials. While the car is driverless, it’s not necessarily passenger-less. You delivery person can stop at the customer destination or loading dock, hop out of the car, and carry the shipment into receiving. If you’re in an urban environment, Google Car could simply cruise around the block without you and return when you summon it. Imagine the time you’ll save without the hassle of finding parking spaces or the money you’ll save on meters or parking tickets!
What Google's driverless car sees – could it see your print job
delivery destinations too?
3. Wheel-Time Marketing
If you’re in marketing, imagine being able to deliver print-on-demand coupons, flyers, or instant offers when your customers are in the vicinity of your retail location. You don’t need to be on foot anymore to get the latest and greatest deals. Your geocoded device and your Google Car, which will also be wired into the Internet, could alert you to new offers when you’re on the road. Customers can download the details to their devices or print them out. (Google Cars should be fitted with built-in printers, right?) Or, your fulfillment pieces or samples could be sent right to a residence or business address of someone who rides by each day in a Google Car. Naturally your Google Car also could be wrapped in a printed skin that promotes your brand or product.
4. From SOHO to SOCO
The first Google Cars won’t be approved for highway use. Your sales force, however, may still be first in line when Google Car arrives – especially salespeople who cover a city or suburban area. Need to see a cross-town client? Use your smartphone to summon your Google Car, or Google Cab.
The driverless vehicle picks you up, you enter the destination, and off you go to your client. But now you have time to do some last-minute client research, prepare your presentation, check your calendar, tap out a text, make and take calls, or catch a quick nap.
While Google Car drives you to your customer, you might review your presentation or… take a refreshing nap!
Out of business cards? Print a fresh batch on the fly. You can even drink or eat with less chance of spilling your coffee in your lap or spotting your best tie with mustard.
You could say we’ve gone from SOHO (Small Office Home Office) to SOCO (Small Office Car Office). Where will it all stop? Well, wherever you want it to.
5. The bottom line
If and when Google Car comes online, or on road, its collective safety and efficiency features could have a pleasant impact on your budget. Insurance costs could conceivably be less with fewer accidents. Your fuel use should be reduced. And your labor costs may be lowered.
In short, this little bundle of disruptive technology could help drive some new profits to print.
Google Car – could it also drive profit for printing businesses?
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