Ford patents tech to read roadside advertising

The carmaker Ford may have come up with a new way to raise revenue – displaying the advertising beside the road on your car’s infotainment screen. has spotted that Ford has patented technology which scans the billboards, interpreting the information on the sign, and delivering the most useful bits right into the vehicle’s display.

The report notes that it “sounds invasive and distracting, with a side of Orwellian creepiness tossed on top for good measure” and that, for now, this is just a patent application and may never see implementation. But it adds that it’s not difficult to see how this could be useful to automakers and advertisers.

Ford’s application says the tech could display an advertiser’s products or services, directions to its nearest shop, or the phone number. If your car is paired to your phone, and between them they know that Thursday night is takeaway night, could it be that the car reads a relevant ad for a food delivery option and then nudges you to buy by displaying it in your car? How much extra would billboard advertisers pay if they knew Ford drivers would see it in-car. says it “reached out to Ford for a comment about the technology, the company replying that Ford submits “patents on new inventions as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

(Picture – Yay Images)


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