Skip to main content
Connected Driving 5 min read

Could your car be the travel agent of the future?

A group of friends on vacation driving in a car.

Car screens are going super-sized. For automakers, providing personalized content experiences - such as vacation planning - could be a golden opportunity.

In 1997, the average television screen size in American homes was 22 inches. Today, even cars have infotainment screens that dwarf that. People living in the 90s would be gazing in awe if they saw this year's Lincoln Nautilus’ 48-inch curved screen, or the Mercedes EQS’ 56-inch “hyperscreen”.

From playing games to watching Netflix, these screens allow modern cars to be true infotainment devices. And they’re an alluring selling point for carmakers, who could steal a march on the lucrative smartphone app market.

“The market for digital services in the vehicle could be very large indeed especially as consumer spending on vehicle transportation declines over the next 20 years,” said analyst Richard Windsor, of Radio Free Mobile.

 “You can integrate the experience across the instrument cluster, passenger seat, rear seat entertainment etc, whereas with a smartphone you are fairly limited as to what you can do,” added Windsor. “Ford is ready with an appealing option for each activity with which the user will engage in the vehicle.”

With summer just around the corner, it got us thinking: what if your car could help you plan the ultimate getaway?

Two women on vacation using their cell phone to navigate through the city.

Get a room

Finding and booking last-minute accommodation on your car journeys is now a click of a button away, thanks to HERE WeGo. Because the app features built-in functionality from, drivers and passengers can book rooms directly from their cars. 

That’s especially useful if you’re in an unfamiliar area, as the map shows room availability on the map. Simply click on your chosen hotel, and you’ll be taken straight to to secure it.

Dine in style

Arguably one of the most pleasurable parts of any road trip is the refreshment stops. With HERE WeGo, not only can you find and book hotel rooms, but you can also discover restaurants on the move. From coffee shops to fine dining, you’ll never miss the best foodie spots again wherever you happen to be. 

For EV drivers, navigation systems of the future could even suggest the highest-rated restaurants close to charging points, allowing you to dine at the best places while you wait for your car to charge.


With innovations in the digital cockpit coming fast and furious, today's in-car tech could be just a taste of what's to come.


Travel diaries

There are thousands of inspirational travel podcasts out there. But what if your car could suggest relevant podcasts based on your location? From the must-see sights to the secret hideaways, location-powered podcasts from experts could elevate your globetrotting game to the next level. Travel companies could even partner with car companies to offer in-depth, localized digital guidebooks delivered right to your car’s screen.

Smart car itineraries  

The perfect trip is often all in the planning. What if you could plan all your restaurant trips, sightseeing spots, and things to do from your smartphone, which then seamlessly integrates with your rental car once you arrive at your destination?

Three friends pack their electric car's trunk on a sunny day.

Geo-targeted social

Knowledge is power, as they say, so imagine having a wealth of local travel tips when traveling through unfamiliar areas. Navigation that seamlessly connects with your social feed could display images, videos and posts from travel influencers based on hashtags or location, helping you curate the ultimate vacation from those in the know. Perhaps you could even find those elusive Instagrammable photo spots?

Pizza cake

Fancy a slice of pepperoni pizza on the beach? Takeout deliveries usually require an address, but imagine if you could order a burger straight to your car. Delivery companies such as DoorDash or Uber Eats could have apps embedded into in-car infotainment screens, allowing the drivers to find you using your car’s location.

HERE WeGo HERE360 Header 2023


In-car advertising  

Carmakers operate on very thin margins, but in-car advertising could offer an appealing new revenue stream. Let’s say you’re driving through the South of France. Your car’s screen could recommend local products and services (that you’ve opted in to receive) to help travelers get the most out of their vacation. The technology already exists to enable in-car advertising. 

HERE and Unity created a human-machine interface (HMI) that displays a 3D map of the car’s surrounding area. As the car moves through the landscape, information, such as local businesses, appears on the map. 

“OEMs need digital services to survive,” added Windsor. “By 2040 digital services in the vehicle could be worth US$1.7 trillion while digital advertising could be worth around US$61 billion.”

Ian Dickson

Ian Dickson


Have your say

Sign up for our newsletter

Why sign up:

  • Latest offers and discounts
  • Tailored content delivered weekly
  • Exclusive events
  • One click to unsubscribe