Here comes the Google Beetle.
Volkswagen has formally announced it’s working with Google and nVidia to, as Reuters reports, “build an in-car navigation map system and a three-dimensional display so passengers can recognize where they are in relation to the surrounding topography.” VW says it’s also working with the two partners on ways to deliver “automatic personalized content updates for its vehicle navigation systems,” according to a press release. “Automatic personalized content updates” sounds like “ads” to me.
Smart move. There’s been a lot of speculation about delivering location-specific advertisements over cell phones, but car dashboards may be an even better medium for mobile ads. You can certainly imagine local shops, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses bidding to deliver map-based ads targeted not just to your location but to your consumer profile and even your car’s current status. Imagine how the price of a gas station ad would go up as your tank empties.
Assuming carmakers get a cut of the ad revenues, you can expect navigation systems to make a quick leap from pricey option to standard feature.