Ford Patents Tech to Display Ads Inside Cars' Infotainment Systems

Surprise! Even real life gets pop-ups.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Imagine you are going for a nice long drive. Sure, you may see a couple of ads on the highway but you can focus on the horizon and ignore them. Not anymore!

Ford is now patenting a system that will take these ads featured on the side of the road and bring them directly to your in-car infotainment system. How you may ask?

The firm plans to use the cameras that come with so many vehicles today and train them to recognize the ads on billboards. The system will even go so far as to provide links to the products offered on the billboards and numbers to dial to get the products.

In that sense, Ford could argue that it addresses the issue of lack of accessibility on billboards. Indeed, most billboards show product ads but don't include information on where you can get these products or how much they cost. Ford will be solving this conundrum with its new infotainment system.

Ford could even work with advertising agencies or billboard companies to make sure the infotainment ads come even before the billboard is within viewing distance. So if you are driving and a McDonald's is up ahead your system may prompt an ad of a delicious McDonald's burger.

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If this sounds scary, it's because it really is. We can't help feeling that we may reach a point where you can get a cheaper car if you are willing to be bombarded by ads. This is not as frightening as the option to have some peace and quiet for an extra fee each month.

Indeed, someday car dealerships may offer you a package to drive without any pop ads for an additional fee. Would the public opt for that option or would they quietly endure these invasive ads and try to ignore them?