Take Control of Your Drive – to Work or to the Mall

Taking control of travel with technology.

By on January 9, 2014

It’s no secret that the shopping experience is changing with the rise of smartphones and tablets. According to Harvard Business Review, the mobile transformation is affecting the whole shopping cycle from start to finish. This article is the second in a six-part series on retail trends in advance of the 2014 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention being held next week in New York.

No one knows better than today’s commuters and shoppers that technology is changing daily travel. From getting to a desired location to finding parking spaces, people are taking control of their drives with technology.

Take the growing sophistication of map apps. Google Maps offers voice-guided navigation, real-time re-routing and reviews of nearby businesses. VZ Navigator offers the same and adds 3D color route maps, making buildings easier to identify. Citymapper, available only in New York City, London and Paris for now, compares times for walking, driving, biking or public transit options.

To help people actually get where they’re going, the GasBuddy app locates gas stations and displays current fuel prices. For those who drive an electric vehicle, CarStations shows the nearest charging stations. 

Mobile technology has even tackled shoppers’ greatest foe: parking. The Parker app offers real-time information about available parking spaces. Streetline, the company behind the app, says that users will soon be able to use Parker to reserve a spot at the mall before they get there.  

Those wanting to make sure their car is ready for the impending shopping spree can get insights with the Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. Paired with a smartphone, the device helps users decipher what the “check engine” light means, open car doors if the keys were inadvertently locked inside, start the engine, and locate a parked car.

This article is part of a series on retail trends in advance of the 2014 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention being held in New York.