As the automobile continues to catch up with the digital age, we’re starting to see more and more partnerships develop between car and technology companies and a new range of co-branded features come onto the market. We’ve already seen Microsoft team up with a number of carmakers to develop new interface systems, however the gadgets of the future are likely to be sponsored by advertising selling anything from soft-drink to car parts.

Carmakers are looking at implementing systems that will be able to tell drivers the location of fuel stations with the lowest prices in an area, or even pay bills, order movies or book an appointment. However, these new technologies will be subsidized by advertising.

Attendees of a recent wireless and telematics conference were shown a number of new technologies from the likes of Microsoft, Intel, Continental and WirelessCar, and were told that new features could be installed in cars without owners having to worry about monthly bills to support them. Current systems like GM’s OnStar and Ford’s Sync, which users must pay for, could potentially be offered for free with advertising.

Support from advertisers will allow such systems to go mass-market and also allow early-adopters, usually young people with lower incomes, the chance to try new technologies. It would also mean big profits for automotive companies and their suppliers, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Developers envisage a system that you tell information about your blood type, how many kids you have, where you work, what stocks you own, what restaurants you prefer, the type of mobile phone you carry and even the temperature you like your seat to be in the morning. Then you can tell your car you're feeling hungry, for example, and it would generate a list of your favorite restaurants in the area, or you could tell the car to heat up your seat in the morning on your daily work schedule.