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So… Mr. Pink Beanie, right? Can I see your driver’s license?

As many of you probably know, I’m a Brazilian who’s spent a good chunk of life in Germany. Now, why does that matter for today’s discussion?

Stick with me here.

I’ve experienced the car culture from two wildly different perspectives.

In Brazil (and here I’m obviously over generalizing), cars are cherished, polished on Sundays, and loved beyond reason – regardless of the vehicle’s age or its price tag.

In Germany, they’re a legacy of precision and history – so the connection is much more “technical”. Which is beautiful in its own way.

Luckily, my journey through the Marketing and Branding world has taken me deep into the automotive sector, and in recent years, into its interest for Web3.

So join me as we explore how this massive industry is leveraging this new environment and what opportunities lie ahead.

Navigating the evolution:
From the Autobahn to the Blockchain.

I said “massive”, right? Well, we are talking about a $2.5 FUCK*NG TRILLION DOLLAR industry!

Even though it’s generally perceived as very “traditional”, the automotive industry has been adapting for nearly a century to stay relevant and to cater for evolving demands.

Car makers aren’t just focused on engines and designs; they’re aiming at digital innovation to keep up with the times. And no, we’re not talking about cars transforming into robots. We’re looking at changes that bring a more immersive, connected experience between cars and their users.

Gen Z enters the chat: They’re switching the script from dreaming about owning a vehicle to valuing experiences and personalization. For them, it’s less about the car and more about what it offers digitally.

So how does an industry steeped in tradition keep pace with this “new world”? That’s the million-dollar question.

We’re talking about a new playground filled with opportunities for immersive experiences, insurances, connectivity, community building, sales, payments, gamification, and much more.

If you still think this is something for a distant future or just random ideas, check this out:

Yes. That’s from 5 months ago. And back then 50+ auto brands were already exploring Web3. And from my discussions with some of these brands, it’s clear they are NOT slowing down.

ENOUGH TALK 😎 

In this edition, I’m excited to share some really cool stuff going on in the Automotive Industry within the Web3 space.

Some of these projects are ones I have had the honor of being a part of (and I’ll let you know whenever we are talking about a project I’m involved with), while others are simply inspiring examples of innovation that I think you’ll find as fascinating as I do. They’re all about pushing boundaries and redefining what’s possible in the automotive space.

Expanding the IP:
Driving brands beyond the vehicles-

New challenges require new solutions, right?

Quick review of the LinkedIn post I shared above:
“What will you find In this report:”
🔹 59 Auto Brands
🔹 145 Web3/Metaverse Initiatives
🔹 128 Technologies and Platforms

Why are these automotive giants steering towards Web3?

They’re aiming to become integral parts of our digital lives – and as we spend more and more time online, this pivot is about driving their brand value into uncharted territories.

They’re tapping into new demographics, reaching out to communities that live and breathe in the digital realm (did someone say “GenZ” in the back?).

This move is vital to staying relevant and fresh. By expanding their intellectual properties (IPs) beyond the car itself, these brands are not just selling vehicles; they’re selling experiences, stories, and a piece of their legacy.

They’re creating new ways for fans to connect and engage.

Various researches show that when it comes to younger folks, that “dream of buying their own car” is no longer a rule – whether by economic or preference reasons.

Therefore, auto brands must expand their reach and go talk to these audiences through different channels.

Brands that have recognized this relationship with future consumers are developing a two-way street built on trust, participation, and authenticity. So what better way than… Yes, you’ve guessed it right: Web3.

Just so you have an idea of what some of the leading brands have been up to, take a look on this list:

🚗 Lamborghini: Merging exclusivity with digital art, Lamborghini’s NFTs offer a new form of brand interaction and ownership, appealing to collectors and fans alike.

🚗 Porsche: By launching an NFT project, Porsche is sharing a piece of heritage and a stake in the brand’s future.

🚗 McLaren Racing: McLaren is harnessing blockchain to fuel a virtual racing platform, engaging fans in an immersive brand experience that goes beyond the physical world.

🚗 Ferrari: The Italian giant started accepting Bitcoin, making a statement about the brand’s progressive stance and appeal to a tech-savvy audience.

🚗 BMW: BMW is leveraging blockchain for supply chain transparency, showcasing a commitment to innovation that enhances customer trust and brand integrity.
The German company also has different immersive experiences powered by Web3 – and we talked about them here.

As you can see, it’s not just about what’s under the hood anymore. Car brands are making moves towards Web3 to stay sharp and relevant.

If you ask me, I’d say that’s a smart move, tapping into new scenes and crowds, pushing the brand beyond the garage and into fresh (digital) spaces.

Adding a co-pilot

In order to accelerate or facilitate (or both) this dive into Web3 roads, many brands are partnering up with established Web3 projects.

These partnerships provide car manufacturers with an unique opportunity to tap into a culture that values decentralization, digital ownership, and innovation.

Not to mention that they’ll be talking to an audience that already understands the Web3 ethos, its lingo, and its culture.

By collaborating with Web3 projects or brands, automotive companies can infuse their products and services with cutting-edge technology and engage with a community that embraces the future of digital ecosystems.

Now, let’s zoom in on two seemingly offbeat yet fascinating examples that showcase how these collaborations are reshaping the concept of IP expansion.

Bugatti x adidas: A fusion of speed and style

Bugatti x adidas

When Bugatti, a titan of automotive engineering, teams up with adidas, a powerhouse in sportswear, you know something good is coming.

Their collaboration has brought the adidas X Crazyfast Bugatti football boot, a limited edition piece that’s all about speed and finesse. With only 99 pairs in existence, these boots are a collector’s dream, blending Bugatti’s sleek design with adidas’ athletic functionality.

This partnership transcends traditional boundaries by merging the ethos of high-performance vehicles with the dynamic world of sports apparel.

BMW x YUGA Labs

Photo: Matt Haldane

BMW, an icon of luxury motoring, joining forces with YUGA Labs, the brains behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club – probably the most successful NFT project within mainstream audiences.

At the Apefest 2023 event in Hong Kong, BMW did something extraordinary. They invited the Bored Ape community to project their apes onto the new BMW i5, using cutting-edge projection mapping technology.

A simple, yet cool way to fuse the physical and digital worlds to created a unique BMW car.

This collaboration is a bold statement in the world of Web3 partnerships, demonstrating how traditional luxury and digital art can create something truly unique.

Future-Forward: meet battery passports

After checking some “outside” collaborations, what about a massive partnership between automotive giants? Let’s get into it:

We’ve got Honda, Nissan, and other major players like Denso and MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative) teaming up.

They are working on developing a “battery passport” system using blockchain technology.

WHAT THE HELL THAT MEANS, DIEGO? 😩 

The idea is to track the health and history of electric vehicle batteries. And why does this matter? Because it promotes sustainability and transparency in the EV market.

This system will ensure that batteries are responsibly sourced, used, and recycled, aligning perfectly with the growing demand for eco-friendly and ethical practices in the automotive industry.

But it goes beyond “being green”. This partnership is a strategic move.

But here’s where blockchain becomes the MVP: It’s not just a tech buzzword here; it’s the backbone of this initiative. Blockchain brings unmatched transparency and trust to the table.

It allows for secure, tamper-proof tracking of each battery’s journey, from mining to recycling. This means consumers can be confident about the sustainability and ethical standards of their EVs.

So here’s what you need to know:

→ Battery passport system: Utilizing blockchain technology to track the lifecycle of EV batteries.

→ Sustainability focus: A commitment to eco-friendly practices in sourcing, using, and recycling batteries.

→ Transparency and Trust: Enhancing consumer confidence in the EV market through blockchain’s transparency.

→ Industry leadership: Positioning themselves as leaders in the integration of blockchain technology in the automotive sector.

Now, a quick transition from what’s under the hood to an immersive, digital experience.

Spotlight: Skodaverse

Collectibles, gaming, community building, physical merchandising, and much more

Have you heard about the Skodaverse? It’s Škoda’s leap into the Metaverse, and trust me, it’s more than just a digital showroom – and for clarity, I worked with the Czech company during the launching phase.

In the Skodaverse, the company is doing much more than just displaying cars; they’re creating an immersive world. You can hop into a digital version of a Škoda vehicle and start exploring different activities, from visiting art galleries, to breaking records in racing tracks.

Another very important aspect – and one I keep mentioning on podcasts and events – is the community: this immersive world is a buzzing hub where car enthusiasts and tech geeks come together. It’s a place to connect, share their passion, and get insights straight from Škoda’s experts.

Think live events, digital conferences, and sneak peeks into new launches.

So, why is the Skodaverse a big deal? It’s Škoda’s way of tapping into where the next generation hangs out – online, in the game, constantly innovating.

It’s like Škoda saying, “Hey, we’re here with you, ready to explore the future together”

Here’s a quick rundown of what the Skodaverse brings to the table:

🟢 Virtual test-drives: Users can jump into the driver’s seat of Škoda’s latest models in a 3D world. It’s test-driving, but with a digital twist.

🟢 Avatar customization: You can show off your style with a personalized Škoda avatar.

🟢 Community engagement: Connect with a global community of Škoda enthusiasts and insiders.

🟢 Dynamic events: Experience the future of automotive showcases with live events and launches in the Skodaverse.

Want to explore the Skodaverse further? Click here for fresh updates and community events. It’s your window into Škoda’s Metaverse journey.

Innovators on board:
Companies that are shaping the future

Alright, now I want to open a space for a couple of under-the-radar names – and for the sake of clarity, I have no ties with either.

These companies might not be household names yet, but they’re definitely turning heads with their innovative approaches. They’re seamlessly blending Web3 into the automotive industry, creating experiences that are as cool as they are futuristic.

Holoride: In-car entertainment reimagined

You won’t mind staying in the back seat

Holoride is taking the backseat experience to a whole new level.

Imagine strapping on a VR headset and suddenly, your regular car ride transforms into an epic adventure.

No, not a regular game → it’s a fully immersive experience that syncs with the movement of your car.

What about exploring new worlds instead of being sit in traffic?

You can battle space pirates, or dive into educational content that moves with you. And the best part? It’s not just for the latest luxury cars. Holoride’s retrofit kit is can turn your average sedan into a VR-powered wonderland.

It’s a game-changer for in-car entertainment, and it’s just the beginning of what’s possible when you mix cars with cutting-edge tech

Riddle & Code: Driving digital identity

These folks aren’t playing – they’re redefining what it means to own a car in the Web3 era.

They’re transforming them into smart, autonomous entities. Their “car wallet” technology, developed in collaboration with Daimler, is a game-changer.

Though it’s called a “Wallet”, it actually serves as a digital identity for your car. This tech enables vehicles to securely process transactions autonomously. Let me repeat that:

This tech enables vehicles to securely process transactions autonomously

Think of your car paying for its own parking or tolls, or even earning its keep in a car-sharing setup.

Riddle & Code’s latest venture, “Drive & Stake” is a real eye-opener. It’s a marketplace that turns vehicle-generated data into a valuable asset.

Translating: your car’s data – from mileage to driving habits – become a currency in the mobility ecosystem. And it’s happening now.

OPEN DISCUSSION

“Open discussion” is the section I’ll use to share ideas, views I have about stuff being developed, and how I envision the different areas within the Web3 environment.

Even though we may talk about things that never become reality, the ideas in this section come from things I hear, see, and try everyday, while dealing with Fortune 500 brands, creators, and Web3 entrepreneurs.

Rethinking the road ahead

Picture this: you slide into a ride-share, and while it’s obviously not your car – you feel like stepping into your own personalized bubble.

The moment you’re in, the car tunes into your vibe, style, and preferences. Your favorite song starts playing, the ambient lighting adjusts to your mood, and the screen displays a personalized gallery. That’s how I see the (near) future that Web3 might just bring.

Now, think about ownership. It’s always been sold as the “final goal”, right?

But here’s a twist: the future might not care about who owns the car, but how it delivers the experience. Personalization is the what trully matters. Future riders might not fuss over owning a car, but they’ll definitely crave a journey that feels like it’s tailored for them.

And here’s where it gets even more interesting. Imagine cars as more than just vehicles; think of them as wallets on wheels:

You are in San Francisco → hop into a self-driving Uber → and as it glides through the city, it’s paying for tolls, handling parking fees, and all on its own. Thanks to blockchain, every transaction is smooth, secure, and verifiable.

I am envisioning a whole new machine-to-machine economy.

I know… All this might sound a bit far-fetched, but it’s closer than we think.

Mercedes, for instance, is already toying with these ideas. Back in June they posted a video on X/Twitter showing a pilot version of a new in-car app for digital art. One function allows Mercedes-Benz customers to display their own digital art in the vehicle by connecting their crypto wallet.

WALKING THE TALK

Walking the talk” is section in the Wild West of Web3 I will dedicate to projects I am directly involved with.

I’ll share with you what I’m seeing in the Web3 trenches, what I’m discussing with the suits in meetings with Fortune 500 brands, and what I literally invest my money and time on.

No bullsh*t, no sugar coating. Real talk.

A new reality for motorsports:
CUPRA’s exponential experience

A unique racing concept that merges the virtual and physical worlds

Jumping into CUPRA’s Exponential Experience, I was skeptical. “Another generic VR stuff to grab PR headlines?” – That was my first thought.

And the second was: “WHY THE F*CK WOULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANT TO DO THIS? I MEAN, WHAT’S THE POINT?”

Fortunately, I was wrong. It was a deep dive into how adrenaline of motorsports feels like. Instead of playing safe, CUPRA decide to merge the virtual with the visceral. And let me tell you, it was not just about strapping on a AR goggle; it felt like stepping into a new world where every turn, every change of gears, felt incredibly real.

From concept to cockpit

My hands-on with CUPRA’s venture was honestly enlightening. It’s one thing to talk about immersive experiences; it’s another to be there.

I could describe it as a gateway to a new form of racing, but there’s more. So you better see it:

Investing in the experience

CUPRA’s not just throwing tech at a wall and seeing what sticks. They’re crafting experiences with purpose. The investment here goes beyond the financials – I can guarantee that they are commited to innovation that respects the legacy of racing while driving it forward.

A glimpse into the future of motorsports

Besides the immersive, amplified experience, I couldn’t help but keep imagining the opportunities this kind of inniative brings to the table. We are talking gaming, eSports, virtual billboards, and much, MUCH more.

AGENDA:
WELCOME TO THE (BLOCKCHAIN) JUNGLE!

I’m super stoked to announce that I’ll be speaking at Blockchain Jungle in San José, Costa Rica on the 16th of November.

We’ll dive deep into the heart of Costa Rica’s vision for a greener, more innovative future, with the Blockchain Jungle Conference.

That’s it for today folks.

We’ve just hit the finish line on this edition. I hope you have enjoyed reading it.

There’s obviously much more to explore when it comes to the intersection between cars and Web3 – and we’ll continue exploring it.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next edition.

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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