The car of the future will be advertising-supported

February 22, 2018 | Motoring

Car makers are considering the possibility of monetising your trip data. What does this mean for the future of motoring?


You’ve seen it before on the Internet, some sort of service where you can either pay for it or get it free if you don’t mind seeing some advertisements. Well, the car of the future might be the same.

When you buy your new car, would you pay a couple of thousand dollars extra for an infotainment system, or would opt to get it free in return for access to your trip data and advertisements being played every now and then?

Many cars are already collecting data while you are driving. This may already be being wirelessly transmitted to and used by car makers to monitor the condition of the vehicle or for other purposes.

Car makers are considering the possibility of monetising this data and insurance companies, mechanics, petrol stations, and fast-food restaurants are interested.

The possibilities for what can be done with your data are endless… It could be determined where and when you usually shop, eat, get petrol, and have your car serviced or washed.

Imagine stopping at a set of traffic lights and seeing an advertisement for a fast food restaurant just up the road offering a discounted meal.

Or having observed that your car has been at a mechanic a few times recently, you start seeing finance company offers or new car advertisements.

At the recent 2018 CES Telenav launched an in-car advertising platform for car makers. Their system shows relevant ads to customers based on information from the vehicle, including frequently travelled routes, destinations, and time of the day.

Drivers are encouraged to pick up a discounted meal on the way home or are alerted to sales at stores near their destination. In addition, if the car is low on fuel, nearby petrol stations along the driver's route are shown, potentially with discount offers.

If you are concerned about the safety implications of drivers watching ads, Telenav's system will only show ads when the vehicle is stopped, such as at car startup, traffic lights and upon arrival. The ads automatically disappear whenever the car is in motion or when users interact with other in-dash functions such as music or phone calls.

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