As the ride-for-hire phenomenon continues to spread, it was only a matter of time before advertising opportunities would find their way into Uber and Lyft vehicles, via tablet computers visible to backseat passengers.
Viewswagen, an in-car advertising company, hopes to drive that market as the unofficial in-car ad provider for on-demand Uber and Lyft entrepreneurs. Passengers could start seeing digitally displayed ads as soon as next month in the U.S.
The Viewswagen system is a bit like a Google Adwords on wheels. The system draws data from a passenger’s pick-up and drop-off locations through the driver’s GPS, which Viewswagen says gives a signal of buying intent.
“Ads are displayed after a proprietary determination of the passenger’s trip intent and demographics are analyzed. Viewswagen then displays the most relevant advertisement to influence the passenger into taking valuable action,” Viewswagen states on its website.
For example, if a passenger takes an Uber ride from his apartment to an Ikea store, Viewswagen’s system would come up with targeted furniture ads, taking into account the passenger’s neighborhood. Targeting options include locations, the number of people in the car and time of day.
The Viewswagen API does not, however, access personal data from a rider’s Uber account, such as email, home address or phone number.
James Bellefeuille, Viewswagen’s co-founder, told Business Insider that the firm conservatively estimates drivers will make about $3 more per hour using its service. That could mean an extra $5,000 or $6,000 a year. In Chicago, for example, the average Uber driver earns $16.80, according to Uber. That’s just under $35,000 per year. Viewswagen says a driver working full-time could see estimated earnings jump up to $41,184 annually, and perhaps more, according to Business Insider.
“Viewswagen is an auction based platform that allows companies to compete in a transparent, real-time marketplace that benefits riders, advertisers and drivers,” the company says. ” We pay drivers for their time, we help advertisers get the word out and riders discover great deals and new places.”