Could Advertisements Make Their Way onto Windshields?

Ford Global Technologies has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an automotive glass display that could turn its future vehicles into advertising platforms, a trend the manufacturer says has already emerged in the automotive industry.

Filed on Jan. 6, 2020, and published on April 4, 2023, the patent application notes that vehicles are increasingly being used to display information including customer and public communications.

“Motor vehicles are increasingly being used as advertising platforms,” Ford writes in its patent application. “For example, vinyl vehicle wraps containing advertisements may be adhered to the exterior of the vehicle. Further, vehicles have been fitted with screens, such as liquid crystal display screens, configured to display advertisements or other messages, which are visible to pedestrians and others adjacent to the automobile.”

The application describes the automotive glass display system as one with a projector configured to project light, and a glass panel that includes a layer of glass and a layer of darkened material applied to the glass layer. The darkened material would then be configured to diffuse light from the projector.

“In particular, the automotive glass is configured to diffuse light from a projector, and thus act as a screen displaying an image,” Ford writes, claiming numerous benefits.

Ford notes that videos could also be displayed, not just images. Furthermore, Ford writes that the display could project images other than advertisements.

“The image could include text conveying a message, alert or command,” Ford writes. “Such images could be displayed on any or all of the panels of automotive glass of the vehicle.”

Ford even takes its argument one step further in addressing autonomous vehicles.

“With the advent of autonomous vehicles, it is becoming less necessary for vehicle occupants to see outside the vehicle,” Ford writes. “To this end, such images may even be projected on the windshield.”

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