You’ve Been Warned: Ads Will Soon Invade Your Car’s Infotainment System

Advertisers are constantly thinking about how they can expand their reach, and it appears that the automotive industry is their next large step.

A Santa Clara-based company called Telenav, which already collaborates with carmakers such as Ford, General Motors, Lexus and Toyota, is planning a so-called “in-car advertising platform” for vehicles with internet connectivity, SiliconBeat reports.

This is a program that serves ads directly into the car, making owners pay more for connected services if they choose to decline them. However, due to possible driver distraction, the system will only display the ads upon approach, at startup, and at traffic lights, Telenav said, a problem that will eventually disappear once fully autonomous driving becomes a reality.

One of the company’s spokespersons said that “this approach helps carmakers offset costs related to connected services, such as wireless data, content, software, and cloud services”, adding that “in return for accepting ads in vehicles, drivers benefit from access to connected services without subscription fees”.

“Telenav research shows users are receptive to ads when they get something of value in exchange”, added Ky Tang, the company’s Executive Director of Strategy.

Meanwhile, a Telenav press release read as follows: “Relevant ads such as coupons and recommendations are delivered to customers based on information from the vehicle, including frequently traveled routes, destinations, and time of the day.”

“As an example, drivers can be encouraged to pick up a discounted pizza on the way home, or be alerted to sales at stores near their destination. In addition, when the vehicle is low on gas, the platform points out nearby stations along the driver’s route, potentially with discount offers.”

Most of the ads are said to be static, while others will be animated but, for the time being at least, they won’t contain any audio, according to the company.

Note: Apple CarPlay function pictured


  • brn

    “Connected services can cost you less if you’re willing to put up with ads” is a more accurate title, but not click-bait.


    “This is a program that serves ads directly into the car, making owners pay more for connected services if they choose to decline them.”

    Or you can wait until Ad Block for your car comes out. Problem solved 🙂

    • Random stranger

      Personally, I use AdBlock and Adblock Plus for this website. Quite effective!

      • LWOAP

        I also have ad-block. I decided to turn it off for this site just so they can get their few nickels of ad revenue. Although, to be honest, I’m starting to think the staff here is getting paid to post some of the “articles” here.

        • Adilos Nave

          Pretty sure they are owned by Tesla and Abu Dhabi Motors. If you didn’t already know, they are the world’s largest BMW dealership.

          • LWOAP

            Funny. I guess Porsche of Arlington and Lamborghini of Palm Beach also owns a portion of the site considering all the adverts I keep seeing here as well.

            I’m turning my ad blocker back on.

  • eb110americana

    “…the system will only display the ads upon approach, at startup, and at traffic lights…”

    Because I don’t already spend enough time behind people still on their smartphones, stopped at green lights.


    • Bash

      You shouldn’t get bothered anyway, everything is displayed in normal letter case in all infotainment systems, so you cant read it anyway.. lol
      Sorry man, just saying, I’m just saying.

    • Enter Ranting

      Me neither. I use my phone for directions. I have absolutely no use for an infotainment system.

  • Jay

    Marketing is running the world. I will stick with my 90’s Nissan thank you very much.

  • Jayen DeHaart

    Waze already does this which is annoying af. I get that it’s a free service but can be a bit distracting when you actually want to use navigation in an unfamiliar area.

  • Jason Miller

    Good thing the system in my car isn’t connected to the net…


    our future will be a quite mess

    • LeStori

      With trial by media already happening, I hate to think how bad it will get before we are wiped out by the next Glacial or by our own hands.

  • smartacus

    This is incredibly dangerous.
    I can’t understand how in God’s name
    IIHS does not come out with the long knives
    against infotainment advertisements.

    Even one moment of eyes off the road is too long.

    • john1168

      I have a feeling accident attorneys everywhere will be all over this when it comes out and people get in accidents due to distractions from advertisements.

      • smartacus

        so true.
        big cash payday
        for attorneys

  • Nordschleife

    DAMMIT. I guess I gotta keep the old tech.

  • roy

    Another reason why I don’t like internet on everything.

  • U8INIT

    👀Big Brother is that you?!🧐

    • Silimarina

      Yes, and he knows what you did last night 😉

  • Craig

    A shameful thing really.

  • John

    pay more for connected service? like what? i only ever use GPS in my car (BMW 5) with traffic info which kinda suck too. I have no problem going back to cellphone GPS if BMW gonna shovel this none sense in my connected app/GPS.

  • john1168

    No! No! Just NO! And not just no but [email protected]&K NO!!!

  • Zed68


  • Charlie Medina’s Smiling Coach

    Get. F^%ed.

  • Bash

    I understand local adds and live info related to traffic ahead but other than this… F^&$^ it!

  • cat

    Find the way to avoid those ads with an app like ad block to cars infotainmet system

  • Vassilis

    Let’s hope Apple makes an infotainment system then.

    • Adilos Nave

      Why? So nearly every single time you get into your car you’ll be asked to update the OS? Then after patiently waiting having to go through the security settings and tell your car for the umpteenth time that you don’t want a passcode and don’t want iCloud services? I can’t be the only one to find that extremely annoying. Can’t drive anywhere because OS Version 11.2.305.65 needs to finish installation.

      • Enter Ranting

        Also, Apple will slow down your older car so you have to buy a new one.

        • john1168


      • Vassilis

        Uh, no. Because of Apple’s move to block tracking cookies by default. About what you say, I’ve had iPhones for the last 10 years and never had any major complaints. I’ve turned off iCloud and I never receive any notifications about that and I’m using the phone’s security features because if someone ever steals it I don’t want them to be able to see its contents or actually use it. If you don’t want to use a passcode which isn’t clever at all you can just turn it off. It’s that simple. Finally, frequent OS updates are a good thing. Bugs are resolved and security is enhanced.

  • Jay

    It was only a matter a time.. I can imagine it now, “congratulations you’ve won“ 🤣

  • Donal Maher

    Don’t mean to sound evil, but, I hope it causes a load of fatal accidents.
    NHTSA will then put a stop to it.
    But seriously that is way too much distraction even if only whilst stationary. You should be watching the lights and other cars/people at junctions, not advertising!!

  • Christian Wimmer

    More ANNOYING advertisements in our lives? Oh hell no.

    It’s bad enough that many videos on Facebook are interrupted by 30 second ads which you can’t skip. Last night I was watching some funny animal clip and halfway through some shampoo commercial for women was forced on me. Made me angry and annoyed me.

    I have digital TV. I record my favorite TV shows and when there is a commercial break what do I do? Fast forward through all the ads. I am literally skipping through 10 minutes of commercials. 10 minutes!

  • TheBelltower

    What a wonderful way to piss off car owners. Automakers shouldn’t even consider such a stupid idea.

  • Dubble Bubble

    Driver’s eyes are already too busy on their phones to be distracted with commercials.

  • KidRed

    I wont be paying anything for anything that has ads. So less is not zero, I wouldn’t be using their services. I’ll stick to my phone, phone mirroring or carplay.

  • TrevP

    There are already radio commercials and streaming commercials, why the hell do i need to see an ad while I’m trying to turn on the seat warmer?! or yet, put the car in reverse and an ad pops up over the back up camera screen? F**K THAT

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