San Francisco

New Technology Displaying Digital Ads on SF Cars Raises Questions

A new form of advertising is being tested in San Francisco and it looks like it’s from the future.

Grabb-It is testing out new technology that displays ads in the form of videos and graphics on car windows and 25 San Francisco cars are currently being paid $2 an hour to test it.

"That's what our vision is, to create this display technology that can go in each and every car window," said Grabb-It CEO Gaurav Garg.

He said the videos would only play when the car is stopped. While driving, it would show a slower-paced graphic that would be connected to the car battery so that once people leave their car, the advertisement is still being displayed.

"A static slideshow," Garg said. "So every ten seconds would be one slide."

Garg says it's legal and some taxis already have digital signs. But several police officers said that if the driver can't see out of the window, it could violate a vehicle code.

"We want to make sure it's safe, at the same time helping everyone," Garg said.

Some drivers are concerned with more screens on the roadway, some stating it would result in more traffic since people would stop and look at each display.

"It’s an interesting idea to advertise on cars, but with the way people drive nowadays I think it would be even more distracting," said Santa Clara resident Michelle Methy.

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