Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 25

This electronic
mirror won't get
damaged by
road incidents
and may even
prevent them by
offering a crisper
image in adverse
conditions, says
Abel Zacharie,
director of
product
management at
Prevost.

The bad news: Supplying Wi-Fi for passengers can be expensive. The good news:
Many people now have unlimited data
plans they can use for streaming content,
which takes some of the burden off of the
motorcoach's bandwidth.

The Driverless Drive

Self-driving cars are big news right
now. But will we ever see self-driving
motorcoaches?
The experts predict that we have a long
way to go before fully autonomous coaches hit the roads. According to a July 2019
article in The New York Times, thanks to
the unpredictability of human behavior,
"Making autonomous vehicles is going to
be harder, slower, and costlier than [automakers] thought."
A driverless coach also requires that
roads be compatible with driverless
technology-which may happen in cities
but will take longer to come to suburban
or rural areas. "If you're in a controlled
environment in a city, you may have the
infrastructure in place," says Zacharie.
"But the nature of tour and charter is
that it's the customer who says, 'I want
to go from here to here.' " So, until there
are algorithms that can take irrational
behavior into account and infrastructure
that can support autonomous vehicles
both inside and outside cities, the reality of
self-driving motorcoaches is still years off.
Even when this happens, though,
motorcoach drivers will not become obsolete. Someone will always be needed to

load luggage, help passengers with problems, deal with safety issues, and answer
questions. "Autonomous driving exists-
it's called a train," Zacharie says. "The role
of the driver will certainly evolve, but you
will always need someone on hand when
you're transporting people."

Electric Buses

"Clean energy" is a buzz phrase in the
motorcoach industry, and while lithiumion batteries are becoming less expensive,
other considerations make electric
motorcoaches incompatible with longdistance travel-at least right now. "You
still need to have energy density, weight,
and green electricity available before
you see real implementation of this as an
intercity solution," says Zacharie. "I think
we're gradually migrating in that direction."
Another reason electric motorcoaches are
better suited for short trips: The battery is
stored in the baggage space, which limits
the amount of room for luggage.
"It sounds easy to buy an electric bus,
but the infrastructure you need to support
it-meaning the amount of power you have
coming into the depot where you're going
to charge it, the method for charging, all of
that-has to be planned out in advance,"
says Maitland. "Because it's not as easy as
filling it up with diesel fuel."

Jumping on the Tech Train

When you purchase a new coach, it's easy
enough to just check the boxes and have
all the tech you want installed for you.

But you don't have to buy new to take
advantage of the newest technologies.
According to Maitland, some important
features can be added to predriven
coaches, such as Wi-Fi, 110v outlets,
exterior and interior camera systems,
and-depending on the model and year-
radar-based adaptive cruise and collision
mitigation systems.
Not sure if it's worth it? Maitland
suggests attending manufacturer presentations, asking manufacturers for demos
of features you're interested in, and
visiting trade shows where you can see
the tech firsthand.
He also stresses the importance of
knowing your audience before investing
in new tech. For example, he says,
some operators still need VCRs on
motorcoaches due to customer demand.
If that's the case for you, decking out
your coach with the latest VR setup
could be a waste of money.
Once you have these useful (and
expensive) tech tools on your coach,
leverage them to set your motorcoach
business apart from the competition.
"Some of the operators that are more
progressive about adding advanced
entertainment and high-tech safety
systems are also more progressive
about how they market and make their
customers aware of the benefits of those
systems," says Maitland.
To get word-of-mouth going,
Washington recommends inviting industry influencers to try out your new technology. For example, create a Facebook
Live video of someone well-known in
the industry experiencing your new VR
entertainment, or invite influencers on a
press trip on your high-tech coach.
After all, while new technology is key
for the safety and comfort of your passengers, it also has to generate a return
on investment-and the best way to make
that happen is to turn it into a competitive advantage.
Linda Formichelli is the founder and
creative director of Hero's Journey
Content LCC.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019

\ DESTINATIONS 25



Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

13 Architectural Gems
Living Life to the Fullest
Going Green
Marketing 101
Custom Fit
How to Have a Successful Marketplace
ABA Foundation Live & Silent Auction
ABA Gives Back
2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
The Drive to New Technology
Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
City Guide
STARRY STARRY NIGHT
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 3
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 4
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 5
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 6
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 13 Architectural Gems
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Living Life to the Fullest
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 9
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Going Green
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 11
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Marketing 101
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Custom Fit
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - How to Have a Successful Marketplace
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 15
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - ABA Gives Back
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 17
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 19
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 20
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 21
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - The Drive to New Technology
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 23
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 24
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 25
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 27
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 28
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 29
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - City Guide
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 31
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 32
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 33
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 34
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 35
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 36
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 37
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 38
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Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 40
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 41
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 42
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 43
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Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 46
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 47
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Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 51
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 52
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 53
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 54
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 55
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - STARRY STARRY NIGHT
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 57
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 58
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 59
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 60
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 61
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 62
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 63
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 64
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 66
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 67
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 68
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 70
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 71
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 72
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 73
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 74
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 75
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 76
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 77
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 78
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 79
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 80
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover3
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover4
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