Everyday there are new ways to stay connected. Automakers are paying attention to the ever-expanding list of available technology, and a lot of this will wind up finding a home in automobiles.
It's the idea of a connected car, and it exists today thanks to 3G and 4G in-car Internet connections paired with increasingly smarter telematics and infotainment units. General Motors is always looking at ways to improve its own tech, but the automaker is also looking at ways to increase revenue. There may be a way to combine those two thoughts... and you're not going to like it.
According to Automotive News, GM's Dan Akerson has stated that the automaker is exploring ways to bring advertising to in-car infotainment.
This could be as simple as showing the logo of an insurance company as a splash screen but it could also lead to various forms of video pre-roll advertising and anything else the ad world can dream up. Maybe your navigation voice will be replaced by the actual coaches from The Voice. Perhaps your oil change reminder will be brought to you by Mobil 1. The possibilities are quite endless.
The possibilities are also quite terrible. Should an automaker make the move to pair advertising with in-car infotainment, it won't be long before others follow suit.
This is a major problem, because an automobile is one of the few remaining places we can escape to and enter our own world. Tough day at work? Hop in the Audi S5 and take the longer canyon road home. Issues at home? Perhaps a run up the coast in the Mazda MX-5 will help you clear your head.
Now imagine those last two scenarios, but with sponsorship messages attached.