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With GM's AtYourService, cars are now rolling billboards

With GM's AtYourService, cars are now rolling billboards

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Adding always-on LTE connections to cars brings a wide variety of benefits: streaming radio, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, real-time vehicle diagnostics, this list goes on. A big data pipe also turns cars into another screen, a captive audience, and a huge opportunity for advertising, which is where GM's new AtYourService comes into play.

AtYourService — an OnStar feature — will enable "information, convenience and money-saving values" to be automatically delivered to your car. It'll use the destinations you enter as cues for which promotions to deliver, so for instance, if you're going to Dunkin' Donuts, an OnStar advisor can send a great donut deal straight to your dashboard. (Dunkin is an AtYourService launch partner.)

"We can’t think of a more exciting and targeted way to connect with our guests than when they are in their vehicles looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant."

GM says the service will "grow over time with new capabilities and more partnerships," which means that the brief respite from commercialism afforded by chilling out in our car on a long drive is a thing of the past. The good news is that the service is opt-in by its nature — you need to request directions from an OnStar Advisor, who would offer promotions to be sent to the car — but there's little doubt that companies are champing at the bit to capitalize on the car as an ad platform.

In addition to Dunkin, GM is announcing AtYourService partnerships with RetailMeNot and Entertainment Book for coupon delivery, Parkopedia for parking information, and Priceline will actually let you book hotel rooms through OnStar advisors starting early this year.