Deals delivered while you drive

Location-based technology can deliver promotions to your navigation screen


FAIRBURN, Ga. – Aimee Brittain is also known as the pretty frugal diva because she is always looking for a good deal.

"Everybody that's around me knows that if we're going shopping together, you better get ready because I'm going to have coupons," who maintains the website PrettyFrugalDiva.com in Fairburn, Georgia.

She doesn't mind sharing her GPS location with advertisers, and really likes when coupons pop up on her phone when she's near a store offering savings.

"It lets me know that, hey, they know I'm going by, they know they want me as a customer," said Britain. "I think it's a great thing."

So, Britain is really interested in new location-based technology that can deliver similar promotions through the screen on the dashboard of her car.

"The car is the next frontier in terms of delivering content and advertising to consumers," said Alistair Goodman, Chief Executive Officer of Placecast.

Placecast is just one company working to deliver ads while you drive and the Placecast technology is offered through the Aha app.

"In the case of this program, it's an audio ad that is actually triggered based on your location," explained Goodman. "If you like the ad, you click the thumbs up and you get a reminder email sent with a coupon on your phone that you can then take into the store."

Industry experts say we should buckle up for more of these targeted in-car promotions from automakers and others.

"There are a number of app developers that are working on a location based ads that would- a consumer would opt into to receive offers while they're driving around and pass a participating location," said Ron Montoya with Edmunds.com.

But Montoya says deal or no deal, this could be one more distraction that drivers just don't need.

"I certainly see it as a great model for walking around, having that offer on your cell phone, but I think for driving it creates too many distraction issues," said Montoya. "When you receive an ad, you need to sort of process that information, think about it, see if you want to take it, and then press a button to confirm it so there's a little bit more thinking involved."

Goodman responded to concerns over in-car ads.

"We've been very focused on driver distraction, and in particular, in delivering the ads in an audio fashion identical to the way you would deliver an ad on the radio. So it's not a big change from the user experience," he said.

As for privacy, companies will have access to users movements, but users have some control.

"Many of these are opt in. If you don't feel comfortable with it you can just opt out of it and just not even deal with it," said Montoya.

"We make very clear what data will be collected and we don't resell that data to any other parties," added Goodman.

Britain says she's open to opting-in for savings.

"Saving money is, is how we can survive the bad times, so I'm always interested in seeing new ways of doing that," she said.

Pandora recently announced they're sending ads to screens in cars, too. 

Read the Department of Transportation Guidelines to Minimize In-Vehicle Distractions

Some of the automakers working on sending targeted offers to consumers through the dashboard include BMW, Ford, and Lincoln: