Ford patents tech to display in-car advertisements
The in-car advertisement technology is unlikely to make it on any Ford in the near futureFord India

Ford patents tech to display in-car advertisements

With our smartphones already plagued with ads, Ford’s patent says your car’s screen should be too!

The world is filled with ads these days. Wherever you look, wherever you go, there will always be an advertisement. Remember a time when YouTube did not have any ads? Yet, here we are today with two ads on almost every video now, some of them unskippable. YouTube and the countless smartphone apps are just one small bit of it. From billboards to flyers, jerseys in sports and even commentary on IPL — it is all dominated by ads!

Well, this could soon rub off on the automotive sector too because Ford is planning to go down a similar path. The company has filed a patent for technology that will display ads directly in your car. The patent cites an example where a camera will pick up data from roadside billboards, and display that particular data on your car’s infotainment system in the form of pop-up images, or hyperlinks that will enable access to websites and phone numbers. But it might actually be more useful than you think.

The in-car advertisement patent Ford may try to incorporate in future offerings
The in-car advertisement patent Ford may try to incorporate in future offeringsUS Patent and Trademark Office

How is it useful?

With each passing day, carmakers are coming up with new ideas to equip their products with technology that aids both the driver and the passengers. Think about how parking cameras, autonomous driving and connected car features aid the driver. Ford is adopting a similar approach to its in-car advertisement idea. For example, in cases where one needs to look for a service centre, a hospital, or a hotel en route and the information is on a billboard, it could be tough to read the addresses or phone numbers mentioned on them until a certain range. By the time you reach that range though, you might be going too fast to remember the address or phone number. And this is exactly where Ford’s technology could come in handy — by showing you the billboard you just flew past, on your infotainment screen. However, it also begs the question — isn’t that the reason we have GPS navigation systems and Google? Moreover, it is one thing to ignore roadside billboards, but to have ads flashing up on your infotainment system can be distracting, and possibly even a little intrusive. The good thing here is that at the moment this is just a patent, which may or may not even see the light of the day. It is also currently unknown how Ford would try and incorporate such technology in the car, and there does not seem to be a business model either — unless Ford uses the advertisement money to lower the price of the car! We would probably be much more relieved if Ford patented this technology only to stop others from doing the same.

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