Ford’s New Patent For In-Car Billboards Brings Us Closer To A Dystopian World

Image via D K Grove /

Car maker Ford is dancing with the idea of a new “billboard interfaces for vehicle displays” system, a trademark document in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) suggests.

According to the patent’s abstract, the new system could generate a “billboard interface” in vehicles by using a camera to capture an image of a billboard followed by a processor producing a segment of the image.

What does this all mean? To put it simply, Ford is exploring creating an in-car advertising system that scans billboards as you drive past, which will then reflect the brands, products, and latest deals onto your car’s infotainment screen. Instead of the radio channel or your favorite playlist, you could be seeing advertisements in your own car.

Apart from ruining the sanctity of the car as an escape from the hustle and bustle of life, it could potentially be a safety hazard. If you aren’t allowed to text and drive, maybe you shouldn’t have advertisements flashing at you either.

However, you should rest easy, as in-car advertisements might not arrive at least in the foreseeable future. When Motor1 reached out to Ford to enquire about the patent, the automaker responded that “patents on new inventions [are submitted] as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

Fingers crossed Ford doesn’t actually set this dystopian plan into motion.

Image via United States Patent and Trademark Office

[via TNW, images via various sources]

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