From startups to advertising, developments in the auto tech space are constantly adapting to consumer trends, new legislation, and technology advancements. Citizen reporting of traffic violations and smart billboards targeting drivers based on car model are two newsworthy updates.
Text To Ticket is a Sacramento-based startup which rewards people $5 for reporting drivers who are texting and driving. Using the company’s app, witnesses can submit a video of the ordinance violation and license plate number for the car. The app states very clearly that “Drivers may not submit videos. Only passengers or passerby videos will be considered.” While the company is currently raising a seed round, they see their app as an asset for “cities looking to innovate and become the next 3.0 city.” Don’t want to be reported by a passerby for texting and driving? Dash-mount your device and use Drivemode for voice-to-text messaging, “Do Not Disturb” mode, and message auto-reply!
Smart Billboards are watching your car and are being developed to use image recognition of car models along with mobile phone data to display tailored advertising. Kevin Foreman, a GM of geoanalytics at INRIX, a company that gathers and sells real-time traffic date, said, “Often your car is a proxy for demographics. We get several ad agencies who say, I want to advertise to affluent men over $100,000 (in annual salary) with XYZ education. Often driving a BMW or an Audi is a proxy for that.” Using roadside cameras, thousands of makes and models of cars are catalogued to train the computers that serve up ads. Smart billboards can also use cellular or mobile phone data to target ads. As we are currently living in the era of car sharing and Uber driving, this nascent technology may face some challenging speed bumps when trying to target drivers of cars who may or may not be the actual owner.