The next commercial you see could be inside your car.
That’s because one of the largest auto-makers recently signed a deal to bring high-speed cellular service to most new cars starting in 2015. And along with turning our cars into virtual “iPhones on wheels,” experts say the deal represents a new opportunity for car-makers to start selling Internet ads, which would pop-up on the screens built into new car dashboards.
So, for example: When you start your car, the same screen you use to display the rear-view camera, or a GPS map, might show a sponsored ad brought to you by an insurance company, or a new kid’s movie. Then, that screen could be used for just about anything you can do on a smartphone today, including surfing the Internet, streaming movies, or even making video phone calls on Skype, all while you’re driving.
Experts say the idea is to give drivers, and their families, new mobile entertainment options, while giving car-makers a chance to make some extra money selling ads. But as you might expect, many studies show that our cars are already distracting enough without the ads. For example:
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that distracted driving was a factor in more than 15-percent of fatal crashes last year. And that’s just counting people who text or make phone calls behind the wheel, which 80-percent of us admit to doing.
Basically, the fear is that the more distractions we face inside our cars, the less safe we’ll be on the road, even if we’re just seeing a logo that pops up onscreen for a few seconds.