American drivers lost an average of 97 hours due to traffic congestion in 2018, according to INRIX
Voice command tech, similar to what powers in-home digital assistants, can help investors track markets while driving
TD Ameritrade recently launched Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Alexa Auto apps for mobile investors
Today’s markets move faster than ever—definitely faster than anyone’s car. With Americans driving more than they ever, and spending mind-numbing chunks of time stuck in traffic, this poses a dilemma: How can mobile investors stay connected to the markets when they’re increasingly on the go?
In 2018, American drivers lost an average of 97 hours due to traffic congestion, according to INRIX, Inc., which compiles and analyzes vehicle and road data. The 2018 cost (reflecting lost productivity and other factors) of sitting in traffic nationwide, INRIX estimated, totaled almost $87 billion, an average of $1,348 per driver.
Try as we might, we’ll never really beat the traffic. Fortunately for investors, technology similar to what enables you to ask your at-home digital assistant to do something—adjust your thermostat, play your favorite radio station, and so on—can help you stay on top of the markets in your car.
What’s Happening in the Markets? There’s an App for That
TD Ameritrade recently launched several in-vehicle initiatives that help investors safely monitor the financial markets while they are on the road.
FIGURE 1: APPLE CAR PLAY INTERFACE. For illustrative purposes only.
- TDAN Radio. Through Apple CarPlay, drivers can keep track of the latest real-time market news with a new TDAN Radio app from the TD Ameritrade Network*. Hit the road while tuning in to select live, streaming TD Ameritrade Network news broadcasts optimized for Apple CarPlay.New voice commands. Drivers using the Android Auto and Alexa Auto platforms now have additional voice commands to unlock market performance summaries and sector updates, get real-time quotes, check account balances, portfolio performance, and more.**
As voice-activated technology increasingly becomes part of everyday life and work, in-vehicle access to market information is a natural next step for investors, technology professionals say.
FIGURE 2: NEW ACTION FOR GOOGLE ASSISTANT. Want to check the markets or get other financial info from Android Auto? There’s nothing to download—TD Ameritrade recently created an action for Google Assistant, which is already an integrated feature of Android Auto. For illustrative purposes only.
Using an in-vehicle app to check on the Dow or an individual stock may not the first thing that comes to mind after a driver settles in behind the wheel, “but it’s exactly this kind of connectivity that is the future of driving,” said Sunayna Tuteja, head of strategic partnerships and emerging technologies at TD Ameritrade.
In-vehicle voice apps “enable investors to engage with the markets when and where they choose and reflect the increasing ubiquity of this technology,” Tuteja added. “In a connected world, we have to meet investors where they are, whether at home, in the office or on the go.”
Safety First as the Miles Keep Piling Up
As the U.S. economy extends a decade-long expansion, more and more people are on the roads and streets—driving to work, going out shopping or dining, and taking vacations. During the 12 months ending in February, U.S. vehicle miles traveled totaled 3.23 trillion, an all-time high, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, citing data from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.
At the same time, law enforcement is cracking down on motorists’ cell phone use. With the exception of Montana, all U.S. states now have distracted driving laws, according to Nolo, a legal information site.
In Illinois, for example, first or second violations for cell phone use or texting-while-driving carry a maximum fine of $1,000, according to Nolo. Illinois’ cell phone ban has a few exceptions, including one for voice-operated and hands-free device use.
In-vehicle market information apps serve a few critical purposes, helping investors maximize their time and productivity while keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road, noted Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at TD Ameritrade (Apple CarPlay also provides access to the latest real-time market news with a new TDAN Radio app from the TD Ameritrade Network).
“Americans spend a lot of time in cars, and voice technology has completely changed the way we spend that time,” Sankaran said. “Today, drivers can use voice commands to ask their car to map their course, or to play their favorite song. We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible Why not ask your car for a markets check?”
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