Your car may soon serve you ads — how about a pizza?

Here’s what you do in your spanking new, internet-connected car when you approach a red or yellow light: slow down way ahead, creep forward slowly — and make sure you never come to a stop.

Here’s why you do it: If you stop moving, your car will start serving you ads on the dashboard, maybe for anti-itch cream because it knows you’re going shopping after a hike in poison oak country.

Santa Clara auto-tech firm Telenav has just announced an “in-car advertising platform” for cars that connect to the internet.

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Telenav wants to sell the system to major auto manufacturers.

And although it’s probably the last thing many consumers want, vehicle owners will pay more for connected-car services if they decline the ads.

“This approach helps car makers offset costs related to connected services, such as wireless data, content, software and cloud services,” a spokeswoman for Telenav said Jan. 5.

“In return for accepting ads in vehicles, drivers benefit from access to connected services without subscription fees, as well as new driving experiences that come from the highly-targeted and relevant offers delivered based on information coming from the vehicle.”

Auto makers including Toyota, Lexus, Ford, GM and Cadillac already use the company’s connected-car products, the spokeswoman said.

Telenav CEO H.P. Jin in a press release called the ad platform “an exciting new opportunity” for vehicle manufacturers to “monetize connectivity to cover service costs and even drive healthy profits while enriching the consumer experience with safely delivered, engaging and relevant offers.”

On the website for Telenav’s “Thinknear” mobile-advertising products, the company boasts of its access to data showing where people are, and what they do in the marketplace.

“We’re talking about taking all the good stuff (the consumer behavior stuff, the location services stuff, the data crunching stuff) and mixing it all together so you have the power to give consumers ads they actually want,” promotional material on the site says.

Telenav in its press release explained how it would put that data to use on behalf of advertisers.

“Relevant ads such as coupons and recommendations are delivered to customers based on information from the vehicle, including frequently traveled routes, destinations, and time of the day,” the press release said.

“As an example, drivers can be encouraged to pick up a discounted pizza on the way home or be alerted to sales at stores near their destination. In addition, when the vehicle is low on gas, the platform points out nearby stations along the driver’s route, potentially with discount offers.”

Most of the ads would be static, though some would be animated — and ads won’t contain audio, the spokesperson said.

To prevent driver distraction, “ads only appear when the vehicle is stopped, such as at car startup, traffic lights and upon arrival,” Telenav said.

“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.”

Of course, driver distraction won’t be an issue in self-driving cars, and this technology suggests the captive audiences in those vehicles will likely be subjected to an ad barrage in robotic ride-sharing vehicles and automated cars whose owners decline to pay more to avoid in-car advertising.

However, consumers appreciate ads if there’s a fringe benefit to them, said Ky Tang, executive director of strategy for Telenav.

“Telenav research shows users are receptive to ads when they get something of value in exchange.”

 

Photo: Traffic stacks up on Almaden Expressway (Karen T. Borchers/Bay Area News Group files)

 

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  • IJK

    Is this garbage for real?

  • Dog of War

    And this is why I will NEVER buy or lease a new car. Because I will literally gut the navigation system out of ANY car under my control that has a system that can possibly run an ad.

  • prh99

    Why would I want my car connected to the internet? I have a cellphone that works just fine for streaming services (if not there is always XM) and Google Maps. If my car starts show ads it’s going back to the dealer ASAP or I’ll rip the damn SIM card out of it.

  • Mael99

    So what is the physical address for TeleNav, where is the nearest gas station, and does anyone have a match?

  • zid

    I went to their webpage and was unable to navigate off of their page. Pretty untrustworthy.

  • Jan Wezgray

    Telenav’s CEO and marketing department will be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes.

    • Eric_Apple

      Promise?

      Why wait? haven’t they dinged us enough already?

  • Hard Little Machine

    I hope autonomous cars kill you if you don’t let them bury you in advertising

  • MightyMoo

    I’d rip out components pulling down the ads.

  • jesse gibson

    “In return for accepting ads in vehicles, drivers benefit from access to connected …” Please go step in front of an ad-connected bus telenav.

    I wonder how much of a shitstorm it’s going to cause when a compromised ad network ties in while in rush hour, let alone root-granting javascript holes while clocking 75 to/from work, or the surveilance/privacy aspect of things since what they’re proposing would leave a “trail” & paint a rather more detailed picture of your life through day to day driving activities.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/699fcc66d4d3fc27d6d4f00413240638fb37f3472917f9bc212886d94fb89369.jpg

  • Eric_Apple

    It is to vomit.

    “drivers benefit from access to connected services without subscription fees, as well as new driving experiences that come from the highly-targeted and relevant offers delivered based on information coming from the vehicle.”

    Seriously, projectile. Large chunks. It’s like a legislator telling you the latest new tax benefits YOU.

  • Jamie Maclean

    “…give consumers ads they actually want…” Capitalist companies and their shareholders WANT to push ads at you. I do not think that ordinary people want to be bombarded with more ads trying to get them to buy stuff they do not really need.

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    But you get ticketed if you so much as glance at your cellphone at a red light, distraction and all that.
    How and why would “ads” playing in your car at red lights not be “distracted driving”, and what kind of fool would actually want to be pumped ads for everything and every business coming up ahead on your drive home?
    It’s amazing how hard companies try to take your money from you, including the tickets you’ll get if you actually watch an ad after the light goes green.
    GREED.

  • Johan VonWolfie

    “Telenav research shows users are receptive to ads when they get something of value in exchange.” Yes absolutely. When Telenav covers the purchase price of a new car I will be delighted to tool around town watching ads for products and services, I don’t need, don’t want, and won’t buy.

  • BretAlanCebulla

    More reasons to invest in public transportation.

 
 
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