This could cause more crashes on the road.
Everybody enjoys a good commercial. Whether it's watching Will Ferrell make a fool of himself, a homemade recreation of a popular music video, or Bruce Springsteen getting misty-eyed over a Jeep, they can be just the thing to make your day a little brighter. But no matter how good a commercial is, none should distract drivers from watching the road. Yet that seems to be exactly what Ford is trying to achieve, as a new patent reveals. The new system scans the billboards alongside a road and then delivers the most important info about the ad to your car's infotainment display.
Of course, we do recognize the money-making ability of the system. Ford could make deals with marketing companies to make certain advertisements more compatible with the system, but we have to question Ford's choices here. Is road safety really less important than making money? Sure, most modern cars have a start-up message warning drivers to keep their eyes on the road and only use the infotainment system when it is safe to do so, but in a world where people still cause crashes by texting and driving, trying to cheat Tesla's Autopilot, or drinking and getting behind the wheel, we really don't need another reason for drivers to concentrate on the road less.
Motor 1 brought this patent to our attention and reached out to Ford for a comment on the tech, with the Blue Oval replying that it submits "patents on new inventions as a normal course of business, but they aren't necessarily an indication of new business or product plans." We didn't expect any different an answer, but we still have to hope that such a system would only see the light of day when cars are fully autonomous. After all, imagine the carnage that could be caused by a Mustang driver that isn't even looking at the road? Cars & Coffee events could be even more perilous for spectators.