Skip to content

This post is brought you you by…

Posted in Posts, and Syllabus Schedule

One of the most noticeable changes to the automobile in recent years is the in-dash entertainment system. BMW has iDrive, Ford has MyFord Touch, Cadillac has CUE, and so on. Many consumers enjoy the benefits of these systems, which allow radio, HVAC, navigation, and other functions to be controlled from a single space on the dash. With the growth of internet video streaming, customers are looking more and more for constant connectivity within their cars. However, this technology and capability will not come cheap. How can we continue to increase the technology within our cars entertainment systems without driving costs, for both producers and consumers, through the roof?

General Motors thinks they may have an answer. GM thinks it may be able to make these systems more affordable to the consumer by passing the cost on to advertising companies. Think of a hot new, free, iPhone application for a second. Who is paying for you to have that game? The developer did not create it out of the goodness of his heart, he is either charging you, through the app store, or he is charging companies to advertise within his game. Those pop-ups and banner ads within the app are what makes it possible and free. GM is considering bringing that mentality to its in-car entertainment systems.

Starting in 2014 GM will offer begin offering 4G connected Internet streaming within its in car entertainment systems. It proposes to lower the cost of this service by having companies pay to advertise within the system. Although the details have yet to be ironed out, it is an interesting concept.

For me personally, if it would halve the cost of the service to have an “Allstate” banner run along the bottom of the screen while streaming a video, then I would have no problem with the service. However, if advertisements were to appear offline and were any more intrusive then a simple banner, I would be hard pressed to agree with that service.

Automotive news website, posted a poll on its website asking, “Would you allow advertisements on your car’s infotainment system?” An overwhelming majority (92%) replied no.

Whether or not these kinds of advertisements can even be avoided is an interesting topic for discussion. Does GM risk alienating customers with this inclusion, or will the cheap advancements in technology be worth a few well-integrated advertisements?



  1. oliver

    Having a Chevy logo appear when you turn on your car is one thing, but as John McElroy said in Autoline Daily episode 1132. If it says “Brought to you by Allstate,” it would be more than annoying, it would be repulsive. No one likes adds. People pay for services like TiVo get away from ads. Sitting in your car should not be the same as sitting on a bus.

    May 15, 2013
  2. How about vehicle safety? And within a couple years, how many of you will have 4G cell phones? To me this is both irresponsible in the short-run and stupid in the medium run. Everywhere outside the US, someone of an income level to buy a new car already has a smart phone. In Europe and China (and even Japan) people just say “no” to renewing their connectivity contract. So GM is actually backing away from OnStar inside China on the Chevy brand, instead building telematics systems that use bluetooth to connect phones to the car. Apparently execs at GM headquarters are still overly oriented to what’s going on in the US market.

    May 16, 2013
  3. cookg15

    Things like this lead me to believe that the industry will start to move back towards simplicity and a lack of unnecessary features in cars during the next decade. As if seeing it on TV and billboards on the side of the road were not enough, I imagine many consumers will be put off by a barrage of advertising even inside of their own cars. I think that instead of a built in infotainment system, cars should allow a driver to integrate his or her own phone to achieve the same uses and features. This creates the problem of producing a car that will be compatible with future phone models and their software for as long as the car is supposed to be driven… Which means that in the end, maybe its best to just leave the infotainment features inside of the phone and focus less on software and more on making a car that’s better to drive, cheaper to produce, and has better fuel efficiency.

    May 18, 2013

Comments are closed.