No More Mobile Phones, Now Windshields to Display Advertisements

Digital advertising is to take a new frontier in digital advertising and that can be your car’s windshield.

Automakers, technology companies and glass manufacturers are going to make a collaborative effort to turn the display that graces the front of an iPhone into the windshield of a car — one that can show ads, directions and vehicle information to the person behind the wheel.

This idea of connected cars is creating a new sales battleground, and using a vehicle’s windshield may be the next way to pitch more products and services to consumers. McKinsey & Co. reckon that mobile and data-driven services in autos will generate $1.5 trillion by 2030. As expected, at least part of that will be spent projecting information to drivers and passengers right before their eyes.

John Butler, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst said,“When you think of a person driving and what your needs are when you’re on a typical trip, it’s food, it’s fuel and it’s rest stops,” adding up, “Owning the inside of the car is critical, it’s really where the money is made. The real value is locked up in the ad opportunity.”

This new smart windshield  will work in a way that, a driver that’s close to running out of gas would see an alert pop up that notes the fuel situation and offers to find a nearby gas station. The car’s virtual assistant will offer a choice, then on the windshield, of two options, including directions to a station where the driver is eligible for a free cup of coffee — an ad placed by the gas company that fits with the driver’s buying patterns, also known by his smart car.

At CES, the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas this week, Panasonic Corp. demonstrated the technology, that lets a driver order and pay for fast food through a heads-up display, before pulling off the freeway to collect it. Pairing such offerings with other connected subscription services could generate hundreds of dollars in additional recurring revenue per car each year, according to Tom Gebhardt, the head of Panasonic’s automotive business in North America.

“When you start doing payments out of the vehicle, you have to secure those payments somehow, so we’re matching the facial recognition with your credit card,” Tom Gebhardt said. “We’re really investing in an integrated solution, merging the infotainment system, the instrument cluster and the heads-up display.”

Corning Inc. is about to start selling carmakers the glass used in Apple Inc.’s iPhones for windshields and in-car entertainment systems. The company said the durability and thinness of the glass means that any image projected onto it is sharper than onto a typical windshield. While the product is less than 10 inches wide, Corning is planning to expand it to a full windshield-size display.