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Volume 24 No. 116
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LeBron James Helps Intel Promote Driverless Car Technology In New Ad Campaign

LeBron James stars in a new Intel commercial in which he shows off the company's self-driving-car technology, marking the "first big ad push for driverless vehicles," according to Danielle Muoio of BUSINESS INSIDER. In the ad, an "apprehensive James crawls into the back seat of an autonomous vehicle, watching the car guide itself on its own." James eventually "acclimates to the car, saying he wants to keep it." It is the "first advertisement to be shown to a general public audience for a fully driverless car." Airing a commercial with James is a "sure way to get the word out" that Intel is "working on self-driving-car tech" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 10/9). THE VERGE's Andrew Hawkins noted the broadcast and digital ad campaign will "lead up to the NBA season opener" between James' Cavaliers and the Celtics next Tuesday. Intel "thinks it is best positioned to overcome consumer apprehension toward driverless cars, and what better way to do that than to make" James the "smiling, bearded face of its public effort" (THEVERGE.com, 10/9). FORTUNE's Kirsten Korosec wrote the car featured in the spot "looks a lot like a Kia Cadenza -- although all branding of the vehicle is blocked in the ad." Intel would neither "confirm nor provide details on the make and model of the vehicle, but James and Kia have been linked before." Kia featured James in a series of ads for the '16 Kia K900 (FORTUNE.com, 10/9).