It seems that Telenav, a purveyor of connected-car and location-based platform services, is out to become every consumer's least favorite company.
In an era when most people avoid terrestrial radio because of ads, Telenav wants to partner with automakers and suppliers to bring more ads into your vehicle as you drive in a safe, user-friendly and contextually relevant way. Telenav is pushing this as a way for manufacturers to offer connected car services for free to customers and reduce costs. The In-Car Advertising Platform runs on Telenav's own In-Car Ads software development kit and cloud-based intelligent targeting platform.
According to Telenav, these ads would be played whenever the vehicle wasn't moving, which would mean that you are getting served ads at traffic lights unless you're pressing buttons or using your phone via Bluetooth. The upside of this is that it seems like a great way to reduce global warming and obesity in one fell swoop, since continually blaring ads would be one great way to get people out of their cars and onto a bicycle.
"Connected, intelligent cars provide OEMs with new opportunities to roll out innovative features and services," said HP Jin, CEO of Telenav, in a statement. "Telenav's In-Car Advertising Platform provides an exciting new opportunity for OEMs to monetize connectivity to cover service costs and even drive healthy profits while enriching the consumer experience with safely delivered, engaging and relevant offers."
The fact that these ads would be tied into your navigation system would also mean that your travel is being monitored by Telenav or whatever company they hire to run this program for them. Whether OEMs go for this, and whether customers tolerate this kind of an intrusion remains to be seen, but it does mark a disturbing trend where paying for something and still being served ads while using it is becoming the norm.
We'll continue to cover the Philip K. Dick-ification of society as it unfolds.