Will your next car Google you?

Cecilia Kang and Michael Fletcher have a new article with a variety of interesting observations, here are some bits:

A tablet, running Google’s Android operating system, will pop out of the dashboard. The device can be passed around so passengers can find YouTube clips and order songs and audio books from the Google Play store for the car’s entertainment system.

Prefer Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks? Google may be able to decipher that by driving behavior and deliver the appropriate ads to an e-mail account or smartphone.

…The executives added that Google, not the automaker, would control any personal data generated by the car. And, they said, the information would be stored in servers, not the actual vehicles, to safeguard the data in case the car is stolen or sold.

…Much of the data that Web-connected cars generate may seem mundane — the route someone takes to work, where they are at a certain time, whether their car needs a tire alignment or more coolant — but they can be lucrative to companies in the business of closely targeted marketing.

“If you are a business that provides services to someone in that car, you have a captive audience for an hour a day,” Smith said. “Think about how much anybody would like to have a captive marketing audience for an hour a day. It is a gold mine.”

Much of the new discussion concerns new Audis, but of course such innovations may spread to other cars as well.  Ads emanating from the car radio are old news, so what other mechanisms of ad delivery will be found?  And will drivers be lured with free services (which?) for being willing to hear or view or smell such ads?  I miss the old days of the open window and the eight-track tape.


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