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IDEA #26B – Auto Details and Photos to your Cell

This relates to IDEA #26A. Same kind of premise — you’re either looking at the newspaper classifieds, or you’re at a dealership when they’re closed and looking at a car. You can simply text a code from your cell phone and a reply message comes back to your phone with photos, videos, and/or further details about the vehicle (“cost is… we can get you a lease on it for… auto has X miles…”, etc).

You could even incorporate VXML technology, so that an automated call goes back to the user’s phone with an automated voice message from the salesman at the dealership, providing details about the vehicle — and allowing the user to schedule an appointment to come in and see it, or schedule a time when the dealership should try giving the person a call.

This could also simply be a way to save the auto to your online account, so that next time you’re on your computer, you’d have a reminder with links to photos and videos of the automobile.

  • Chris

    I love the idea of merging different technologies like cell phones and the internet, but I’m not a hardcore programmer, so I’m not sure that there is much I can do.

    Anyways, great blog and great ideas.

  • Jeff

    Steve – excellent idea. Maybe this should be integrated into my “automotive” search vertical. The hardest part is getting the dealer (or people at the dealership) to do all of the work. The companies best to migrate to this type of platform are the ones alreay on the lots taking the photos (dealerspecialties) or someone who could integrate with the data and offer the text messenger service.

  • Graydon

    I was at Lowe’s the other day and I noticed that on one of the bbq grills there was a number to call to get a narrative walk through of the features on the grill.

    In the case of the bbq grill, I can see the benefit. This was a top of the line model with IR heating elements and 6 other burners of varying btu… which, if you know grills, will make sense. BUT, if you are a bbq novice, there just isn’t enough space on the grill to explain why all of this fancy stuff is important to you… and hence why it’s worth the 2x price over the model next to it. Therefore, there is a benefit to having a voice narrative.

    In the matter of automobiles… I’m not sure the benefit. There probably is, but I’ll have to think some more.

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  • Luca

    A service launched here in the UK about a year ago doing exactly this. You text the car registration (license plate) to 86007. You then get back two premium rate messages costing £1.50 each, one with the price and model, and another with specs.

  • http://na todd

    Thought I would let you know this idea is about to be implemented for the auto group I work for. We use twilio already for call tracking, and the ability to send sms for the vehicle your interested in to your cell phone (saves you having to write down stock number/address etc. before coming to see it). Also use twilio for an integrated reminder system for service appointments and a variety of other auto uses.

    The ‘call a number/enter stock number’ and hear all about the car is our next progression as well as having the phone number posted on our cars windshields so if you are walking the lot on weekends and we’re closed, you can still get the low down while standing at the car.

    We’ve been considering text to speech if no audio is present and our system will spit back an automated response about the call if the dealer hasn’t posted their own audio.