In this post, we will explore how Large Language Model (LLM) tools like ChatGPT can support a systematic idea-generation process that utilizes heuristics to guide divergent thinking. Specifically, we will examine whether we can identify product or business model ideas for connected cars using the "Combination" heuristic or "Combine" thinking tool, which involves generating divergent ideas by combining, integrating, or linking two currently unrelated components. The Combine thinking tool is one of the 11 thinking tools of Innomantra's Functional Innovation Methodology.
In the ideation process, we enlist the help of ChatGPT in generating ideas and text-to-image models to visualize the ideas. Our goal is to identify some exciting business ideas for connected vehicles that involve combining, associating, or connecting an internal component inside a vehicle with external entities encountered by a car during a typical journey. Our prompts are in blue and italicized, and the response of ChatGPT is in green.
Please help me identify some internal components inside a car. Some of these are the passenger, dashboard, and windshield. Can you identify some more?
Sure, here are some more internal components of a modern car: Engine, Transmission, Steering wheel, Brake pedal, Accelerator pedal, Seats (front and back), Climate control system, Radio/Infotainment System, GPS navigation system, Gauges (speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, etc.), Headlights, Power windows, Mirrors (rearview and side), Glove compartment, Central console, Sunroof/Moonroof, Trunk/Boot, Exhaust system.
Now think of a car journey from a home to a supermarket 5 miles away. Create a list of entities the vehicle might encounter on the way. Examples include road signs, cars, pedestrians, and billboards.
Sure, here is a list of entities a car might encounter on a 5 mile journey to a supermarket: Roads, Traffic signals/stop signs, Other vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.), Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Animals (dogs, cats, squirrels, etc.), Roadside vendors, Billboards, Street lights, Crosswalks, Sidewalks, Buildings, Parking lots, Roundabouts/intersections, Traffic cones/barricades, Street signs/directional signs, Traffic cameras, Street vendors, Street musicians.
Now generate a product or business idea that involves combining, connecting, associating or interacting an internal component inside a car and an eternal entity that the car encounters on its journey. For example, the car displays advertising when it stops at a signal.
- Connected Road Sign: A device that connects to the car's infotainment system and displays real-time information on road signs as the car passes them. This information could include detours, traffic updates, road construction, and other relevant information. The car's GPS could be used to pinpoint the location of the vehicle and display the appropriate information.
- Smart Parking Assistant: A system that uses the car's GPS and camera to identify and reserve a parking spot at the destination. The system could use information from other connected cars to predict parking availability and guide the driver to an available spot. It could also provide payment options, and reserve the spot until the driver arrives, avoiding the frustration of searching for a spot or getting a ticket.
- Interactive Billboards: A system that uses the car's cameras and GPS to recognize billboards and display interactive content related to the advertisement. For example, if the billboard advertises a local restaurant, the car's infotainment system could display menu options and promotions, allowing the driver to make a reservation or place an order before arriving at the destination.
- Pedestrian Safety Alert: A device that uses the car's sensors to detect pedestrians and alert the driver with a visual or audio warning. The device could also automatically activate the brakes in an emergency situation to avoid a collision. The system could be integrated with the city's pedestrian infrastructure, such as crosswalks, to provide a more comprehensive safety solution.
- Automatic ordering of refreshments from vendors based on car climate control settings.
- Integrating climate control with road side vendors to adjust temperature based on outside weather conditions.
- Connecting car climate control system to nearby restaurants for pre-ordering food.
- Linking the climate control system with gas stations for convenient fuel and AC top-up.
- Integrating car climate control with hotels for room temperature control.
- Automated payment for services like car wash and AC refill using climate control system.
- Combining car climate control and toll-booth payments for seamless transactions.
- Connecting car climate control with parking lots to reserve and adjust temperature in parking spaces.
- Associating car climate control with charging stations to optimize battery cooling while charging.
- Integrating car climate control with rest stops for a comfortable break during long drives.