Imagine taking a nice long journey: great panoramas interrupted on peripheral roads by ugly road signs.
You could always focus on the horizon and ignore them, perhaps with the help of a nice piece of music chosen with your infotainment system.
Who knows if you will be able to do it in the future.
Ford is patenting a system that will take the advertisements on the roadside and bring them directly to your car, and guess how? Right through your infotainment system.
No mercy on us
The company plans to use built-in cameras in more and more vehicles, and train them to recognize all advertisements on billboards.
The system will even go so far as to provide links to the products offered on the billboards and the references to visit (or the telephone number to dial) through the infotainment to be able to purchase them.
Advertising in auto via infotainment: can I ever forgive Ford?
I don't already have all this pleasure in spending my time in city traffic. I sold my personal car for this, and we only have one in the family (I'll take an electric one: there are some without infotainment systems, right?). Ford is not giving me an incentive to buy a car from its range.
More "info", less "tainment"
Ford could argue that with this solution it addresses the problem of lack of accessibility on billboards. In fact, most billboards show product ads but don't include information on where to get them. That's why they thought of sending them to us through the infotainment system: they are generous, you understand?
And, again out of generosity, Ford could partner with big brands or companies that sell the spaces to make sure infotainment ads arrive even before the billboard is in viewing distance.
So, I'll give you an example: If you're driving and a McDonald's is further ahead, your Ford infotainment system could help you order a burger in advance.
If that sounds scary, it's because it really is.
I can't help but think that one day cars that "contain ads" could be sold at a cheaper price to those willing to be bombarded with advertisements.
Or even worse, we'll pay a premium price for some peace of mind from our own infotainment system.
Which option will we favor? Quiet and more expensive car, or announcements in the cockpit to pay less?