• Mar 7, 2008

Ford's SYNC system is winning friends left and right, with CNET giving it the nod as Coolest New Car Tech and The Detroit News calling it "the best $395 option of 2007". Sales of the Ford Focus, in which the system debuted, are up 22.5% this year, despite the car's iffy redesign. According to Ford, consumers are choosing to add SYNC to their cars two to one over those who skip it, and Microsoft, which supplies the software to run SYNC, has noticed this popularity. The software giant from Redmond has pretty big plans for its Automotive Business Unit beyond supporting Ford's SYNC system, and hopes to give its software system "daily relevance" within five years by networking infotainment systems with each other. A local search function, for instance, could offer multiple possible routes based on up-to-the-minute information gathered from the network.

All of these upgrades need to be paid for somehow, and Martin Thall, the General Manager of Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit, has suggested that they may integrate advertisements into the infotainment system as opposed to charging subscription fees like General Motors does with its OnStar service. After all, you hear ads on your radio and pass by billboards every time you get in your car, right? Would serving up advertisements or coupons to Starbucks while you're driving be a distraction, though? They better think this through carefully.

[Source: CNET]



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  • 25 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can you imagine? annoying flashing banner ad, causing someone driving to have a seizure, lawsuit galore!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well... I'll build a gun that shows advertisements while I'm shooting at them so it can pay for the bullets! I really don't like the idea of my car not being an escape anymore. I can understand if it's my radio and it's ON the radio, but if it's just a utility in my car I'm using, no matter how advanced and futuristic it is, I don't want to hear about how I should apply Head on directly to my forehead!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont want to pay for something to delete advertising either, thats just another way to sell you something, Forget it, I see too many ads on the Net too, as I said before we are brainwashed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find excessive advertising to be mentally exhausting. Getting pummeled with advertisements all day long gets to be horrible. My family has a small hunting camp up in northen PA and once you get up there it's nothing but clean air and woods. No giant billboards of any kind or many roadside advertisments in general. It's something you don't notice until you get back south towards Pittsburgh and notice an ever increasing onslaught of in your face billboards begging for your dollars. It's kind of sickening. To have my own car spewing advertisements at me just might be the trigger that makes me snap.... Futureworld's awesome, ain't it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      We already have in car advertising. But at least you can shut off the radio.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, that is one nasty bad idea.

      I'm driving along and the radio is 'selling at me', the billboards are 'sellling at me', the bus stop bench is 'selling at me', my cell phone rings and it's a telemarketter 'selling at me'...and just when I have two seconds without adverts, my car is going to do it too?

      ARE YOU LISTENING FORD, I'LL KICK THAT NEW FIESTA OFF MY LIST IF IT TRIES 'SELLING AT ME' IN ANY WAY, AT ANY TIME.

      Did I type that loud enough? You know how loud ads are.
      • 6 Years Ago
      if they followed the old opera browser model of having a pay for no advertisements or don't pay with advertisements, I could see that working, as I would pay for no advertisements and cheap people could be stuck with the ads. however, I would certainly factor that into the equation when buying a car. i like being able to turn off a navigation unit at night and having no bright lights in the car. i would be irate if they messed with that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hahaha, NO. Any manufacturer considering this is building the edsel of automotive feature, and I can only think that either desperate or retarted executives would allow this.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Something else needed to distract the daily driver, I have enough to worry about with people in cars that can't manage to get out of their driveways without near missing someone or something.Besides, people get nervous when they see a blinking light, forget a streaming ad through their cars......
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are sure alot of conspiracy theorists around here.

      No one said this will happen, just that it's being thrown around as an idea.

      They didn't say how either. There are many non-intrusive ways to advertise. "This route brought to you by _____" as you enter in a destination on your nav system. The advertising business' name showing on the nav map as you drive by the location. Specials for the business' being available as an option on the screen.

      Those are some ways that are not distracting (no one is going to flash things at you when you drive- lawyers mouths would be watering waiting for that one) and I can't see them doing anything that would leave unsold units on the shelves because it is too intrusive the customer's enjoyment. Not a good business move.

      Do all of you get pissed and stop coming to Autoblog because there are ad banners on the right side of the page? Then why would you care about simple things like I mentioned bein integrated to avoid you another $20 a month subscription?
      • 6 Years Ago
      My iPod has 16,000 songs, and ZERO ads!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not in a million years. Yes, I pay for Sirius, but only listen to the non-commercial channels. Even the brief DJ chatter is too much. There's got to be some limits on the bombardment of commercial cr*p we're subjected to.
      Do we even want to start talking about the diminishing-returns concept of all this "modern" technology in our cars...?
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