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Since before the first Model T rolled off the Ford assembly line, people have been talking about the next great auto technology: flying cars, hovercrafts, clean-running engines, and self-driving ones. It’s a topic with a long history, and companies are still finding ways to be a part of those conversations today. Here’s how:

1. Tell a better story
2. Make your industry better
3. Contribute to a bigger vision

1. Tell a better story

The Oatmeal animator, Matthew Inman, is best known for his goofy comics about stuff like “the blerg,” cats, and tributes to Sriracha. But he’s also known for his love of his “Intergalactic SpaceBoat of Light and Wonder,” a Tesla Model S. That’s why Google reached out to him to spend an afternoon with their new self-driving cars and to help tell their story. But his write-up isn’t just about how great Google’s cars are. It’s honest — pointing out the good with the bad — and stays true to The Oatmeal’s sarcastic (sometimes inappropriate) voice. Most of all, it’s a fun read. Matthew is a comic writer and illustrator, not an auto enthusiast or a tech blogger. But in the end, Google knows the people they need to reach — the ones they need to convince aren’t tech writers and car lovers, but regular people who love a good story.

2. Make your industry better

You don’t have to be the biggest, best, or most talked about to add something to your industry — every business has something to share to make it better. For example, last year Toyota announced it would open up almost 6,000 fuel cell-related patents to the auto industry so that new technologies could develop more quickly and efficiently — a move similar to what Tesla did a few months earlier. And while Toyota doesn’t have quite the clout that Tesla does in the electric car space (yet), this was a great way for them to join that conversation.

3. Contribute to a bigger vision

Services like Uber are sitting on a gold mine of information for a city’s transportation services. They know where people are being picked up, dropped off, how far they go, and when they’re travelling. It’s the kind of data that could help the city reduce congestion, expand public transportation, and learn more about parking needs. Recently, Uber gave away all of this data to the city of Boston. Why? Their contribution says they care about more than just selling rides — they care about a bigger vision of better transportation. For a company that hasn’t exactly had a great run of PR, moves like this can really help them change the conversation.

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