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New Ford Patent Aims To Bring Advertisements To Infotainment Screens

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In today’s high-tech, connected world, we as humans are simply used to being bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look or go, from smartphone screens to billboards, movie and TV product placements, and even electric vehicle charging stations. But a new Ford patent could soon bring those same annoying ads to our vehicles’ infotainment screens.

According to the new Ford patent, dubbed “Billboard Interfaces for Vehicle Displays,” the automaker in tinkering with the idea of using a vehicle’s cameras to read roadside billboards and subsequently display targeted ads related to those billboards’ content on the vehicle’s infotainment screen. Users would then be able to click on a link to give them more information on the ad.

The patent filing doesn’t provide any specific examples of how this might work but does include an image depicting a theoretical hot dog stand business with a picture of a hot dog and fries, along with the business’s address and phone number. Presumably, the navigation system would then give the driver the opportunity to navigate to that restaurant and take a food break on their road trip, or perhaps even order ahead of time so it’s ready when they arrive.

This all sounds somewhat convenient in theory, but pop-up ads could also serve as major distractions in vehicles that increasingly come with more and more of them. But as vehicles come with increasing levels of driver-assist functions, like Ford’s forthcoming BlueCruise system, perhaps this won’t be as big of a concern, and it might be less distracting than trying to read an address or phone number on a billboard and then enter it into a phone or the navigation system.

Regardless of the obvious safety implications, it seems inevitable that we’ll eventually be bombarded with advertisements via our infotainment screens, one of the last few unconquered frontiers in terms of potential ad space. However, as we’ve seen multiple times in the past, many patents also never see the light of day, so perhaps there’s some hope this won’t happen.

We’ll have more on this and all other Ford patents soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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20 Comments

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  1. If they go through with this, I’ll never have another Ford. I have two now, a 2019 Bullitt and a 2020 F-150. I’ve owned at least 9 Fords in the 43 years I’ve been driving, but this would make me turn away and never look back.

    • Amen, I’m right there with you. That is the dumbest ideas. You can tell the company is ran by corporate morons!

    • Lol, like they’ll be the only one? They’ll ALL have marketing on those big screens. They’re all already selling your data/location/usage. Your car will be just like your phone, tracking everything and everywhere you go. It is inevitable…

  2. Dumb as hell. There should be no distractions to take your eye off the road. Billboards alone are too much distraction if you ask me.

  3. Whoever dreamt this one up, be it an individual or a team, need(s) to be fired immediately. We have enough dregs in this society already and these folks don’t need to be making lives any worse than they already are. This story has been the laughing stock of the internet for the past few days and it does NOT reflect well on Ford.

  4. You know, I’m normally pretty lenient with Ford. I’m pretty open minded as well.
    This is a very stupid idea. I already can’t watch an instructional video on Youtube without getting an ad. I can’t even pump my gas without an add on the screen of the newer gas pumps. I don’t need any more ads. There is a limit to how much people can buy and there is a limit to how much someone can care about a product.

  5. This is absolute total bull crap. There is no need for drivers to be distracted by commercials of any kind. I really hope Ford gets their heads out of their butts and does not do this!!!!

  6. Wow, this just sounds like a really bad idea. As if drivers whose general driving ability continues to decline, coupled with increasing levels of distractions…this will surely making the driving experience better? If Ford is betting on this being a feature in self driving cars, maybe? But the horizon line for self driving anything is way far off.

  7. This is beyond disappointing, straight-up nauseating. The feeling of one’s sanctuary in a car/truck being riddled by ads from its own infotainment screen?

    Hey, I get it…we’re already pummeled by ads on the radio, the phones we’re not supposed to be looking at, billboards, etc…but this feels treacherous.

  8. Would you do it if Ford gave you a $3k rebate incentive?

    That’s going to be the selling/marketing point.

  9. Someone is actually getting paid for these dumb ideas.
    Examples include (but are not limited to) battery operated vehicles, self-driving cars and too many electronics/distractions. Now you get MORE advertising. Yay.
    Hey FoMoCo, it’s time to send Farley packing and go back to building ICE vehicles that don’t need freakin’ chips.
    Why’s this so hard to figure out? Is it because of Sleepy Joe and Kamel Toe?

    • This will probably make a ton of money for FORD and enjoy tremendous take-up from the buying public. The only dumb part is that you cannot seem to wrap your head around anything that isn’t your idea….coupled with the fact that you don’t seem to have any new ideas of your own…. try and stay on topic,

  10. This is some person in the I.T. department whose best friend is in accounting….. ( and neither of them are car guys) both thinking how this can make money for FORD. I can live with it as long as there is a ‘defeat’ option for the driver….like ‘stop/start’ engine management… if you don’t like it you can turn it off. As for some of you guys setting your hair on fire over this… get a grip!

  11. I’m old enough. I’ll never buy a new car again. You expect me to more than I paid for my first house AND THEN not be able to be free of ads inside the car ON MY DASH?! I am 100% solid serious on this. I WILL NOT.

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