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Spam Transportation

Lexus To Start Spamming Car Buyers In Their Cars 317

Posted by timothy
from the even-as-they-sleep dept.
techmuse writes "Lexus has announced plans to send targeted messages to buyers of its cars based on the buyer's zip code and vehicle type. Unlike regular spam, these messages will be delivered directly to the buyer's vehicle, and will play to the vehicle's occupants as audio. Lexus has promised to make the messages relevant to the car buyers." Imagine the fun that some targeted malware could do — not that such a thing could happen to a Lexus.
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Lexus To Start Spamming Car Buyers In Their Cars

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  • Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:16PM (#26377263)

    I'm stunned that Lexus just made me appreciate my crappy Neon.

    • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kjuib (584451) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:20PM (#26377323) Homepage Journal

      If the lexus buyers are compensating for something... what sort of spam do you think would be relevant?

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

        by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:51PM (#26377841) Journal

        Hair transplants?

      • by Atario (673917)

        That's a good point...this might be worth it just to hear a V1A@R4 spam read by the silky-smooth voiceover guy who does the Lexus ads.

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @08:14PM (#26380579) Homepage Journal
        "If the lexus buyers are compensating for something..."

        You know...I"ve just never understood this 'critisizm' people try to heap onto people that buy nice luxury or high end sports cars. I mean, sure I guess in some remote cases it is true, but, I have to believe the majority of people do it because they WANT a nice luxury car, they WANT to drive a perrformance car (my category)...and they can afford said 'toys'. Sure a Yugo will get you from point A to point B....but, IMHO, it just won't make the trip as nice, or do it as fast as a good car.

        I guess I've just always chalked it up to people that are jealous of people who have extra money to burn, and like the finer things in life. Not everyone feels the need to make everything in live 'utility'...or 'just get by'.

        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kklein (900361) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:45AM (#26382815)

          Yeah, that's why. I drive a silly little car, but when I see a fancy car, I appreciate them. Making up a bunch of silliness about why they have one is just envy I think.

          People spend their money on the things they like. When people from my job come to my apartment and see that everything is networked and computerized, they say "my god, how much more do you make than me???" But we all make the same (same contract), and that's just where my values are. They go on 2-month sojourns through the windswept mountains of Kafoonistan; I stream movies from the office to the TV. Mine is still way cheaper, and I enjoy it every day of the year.

          But that's values. There's just no reason to criticize other people's "fun."

        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @09:12AM (#26385717) Homepage Journal

          You know...I"ve just never understood this 'critisizm' people try to heap onto people that buy nice luxury or high end sports cars.

          Speaking of someone with a great deal of automotive experience, all I can say is that people who buy a Lexus are big dumbfucks anyway. A Lexus is a COMPLETE PIECE OF SHIT. We had a Lexus come in to the shop with a bad ball joint, turns out you have to replace the whole upper A-arm. And Toyotas handle like dogshit compared to Hondas (Acuras) or Nissans (Infinitis) anyway. But the simple truth is that any Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti is just a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan (respectively) with different styling and more asphalt. They are a little quieter and have a little smoother ride, but that is strictly because they have more mass in between you and the road, which costs you fuel.

          The problem is compounded by the difficulty of actually finding a car worth buying today. Mercedes vehicles have gone right in the toilet in the last few years; they join BMW, which has been there for some time. It's gotten to the point where a VW can actually be more reliable than either one - provided it was made at the plant in Wolfsberg, and not Mexico.

          If you want a quality luxury car, buy a W126-bodied Mercedes and put a modern stereo system in it. The only other thing it's missing will be cupholders. You can get some nice one that will match the interior if you look around the 'net a bit.

          • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Interesting)

            by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday January 09, 2009 @10:37AM (#26386935)

            But the simple truth is that any Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti is just a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan (respectively) with different styling

            Actually, they are just the same car with a different badge. If you travel to Tokyo, you won't find a single Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti - they are all badged as Toyota/Honda/Nissans. These "upmarket" brands were created solely for the US market.

            In Canada it's even worse - the highest trim level of the Honda Civic (badged the EX in the USA) is badged as an Acura.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tehcyder (746570)

          I guess I've just always chalked it up to people that are jealous of people who have extra money to burn, and like the finer things in life.

          As a rule, people don't mind richer people spending money on fine food and wine (or rare first editions, or whatever) because it's a private thing.
          But going out on public roads in a ridiculously overpriced car (not talking about Lexuses here) is seen as just flaunting your wealth, and therefore vulgar.
          So people respond with jokes about the car owners' tiny useless

        • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Funny)

          by Wicked Zen (1006745) <`chaosturtle' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday January 09, 2009 @10:12AM (#26386555)

          Sure a Yugo will get you from point A to point B....

          I find your optimism refreshing!

    • Losing Money (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alcmaeon (684971)
      Let's think about this: Toyota's engineers think drivers want to be spammed. Toyota loses money for the first time in 50 years. Connection?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268)

        Sorry, but as an engineer, I'm going to have to join the chorus of replies calling you a moron.

        An engineer would never come up with an idea as brainless as this car spam idea, only a marketing droid or executive. In fact, engineers in today's large companies rarely come up with bright ideas (when they do, they don't bother to tell anyone, because they'll be rejected anyway). Engineers just do what they're told by executives and other bosses. There is a class of former engineers who have crossed over into

    • Lexus (Score:4, Insightful)

      by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @08:07PM (#26380505) Journal

      To repeat a comment from another Lexus-related thread [slashdot.org]:

      Do Americans realise that a Lexus is (a) just a Toyota with a different badge and (b) not really regarded as a prestige car outside the US?

      I am constantly taken aback by referenced in US films, TV shows etc to Lexii as though they are a status symbol of some worth.

      Whatever their other failings, I do not think you will see this type of thing from companies like BMW or Mercedes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mooltar (1448207)
      *open lexus door*

      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      "HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead."
      ...
  • by qoncept (599709) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:17PM (#26377271) Homepage
    Lexus has promised to make the messages relevant to the car buyers.

    Genius. Because who is more likely to be ready to buy a new car than someone that just bought a brand new one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Applekid (993327)

      Genius. Because who is more likely to be ready to buy a new car than someone that just bought a brand new one.

      If the television ads are any indication, it might be an add to remind you to buy one for the misses, too. You know, His and Hers.

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:32PM (#26377553) Journal
        Bucci says he's sensitive to luxury-car owners who may not want to participate. "Many of our owners enjoy their car as a cocoon," he says.

        They know this, and yet they violate the sanctity of that cocoon anyways. How self-destructively stupid can you get? Can you give the Darwin award to a car maker?

        Will there be an advertisement where the driver rolls down their window to give someone some Grey Poupon and is overcome by the noise of nearby jackhammers, then rolls up the window and is blissfully appreciating the quiet when suddenly they're startled out of their relaxation by a blaring message from Toyota recommending that they investigate a nearby 5 star restaurant, the marketing department having recently decided to increase the volume because a large segment of their target demographic is hard of hearing?
        • by evanbd (210358)

          Can you give the Darwin award to a car maker?

          Car companies are intelligently designed, not evolved. OK, maybe not intelligently, but they're definitely designed rather than evolved through sexual reproduction. I'd say no.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by PachmanP (881352)

            Car companies are intelligently designed, not evolved. OK, maybe not intelligently, but they're definitely designed rather than evolved through sexual reproduction. I'd say no.

            I dunno. If you look through the who owns who and the who's partnered with whom in the car industry, I'd say sexual reproduction is probably a pretty good description of what goes on. Well sexual reproduction with alot of incest going on.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jrumney (197329)

          They know this, and yet they violate the sanctity of that cocoon anyways. How self-destructively stupid can you get? Can you give the Darwin award to a car maker?

          I can just imagine the scene in Toyota's boardroom.

          Sir, all the other major car manufacturers are getting government assistance.

          - Dammit, why aren't we getting some.

          Because we aren't in as desparate a situation as they are.

          - Hmmm, what can we do to get ourselves a piece of the government pie?

          Well, we could try losing some customers by pissi

    • More likely it will be something along the lines of oil ads triggered every 2500+ miles or so.
    • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday January 09, 2009 @05:37AM (#26384207) Homepage Journal

      who is more likely to be ready to buy a new car than someone that just bought a brand new one.

      The guy who just totalled his new car because he was distracted by adverts?

  • Stupid (Score:5, Funny)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:17PM (#26377283) Homepage

    They claim it won't be used to bombard customers with ads...yah right. If the capability exists, it will eventually be used for advertising.

    So now, I get to spend a huge premium so I can have a car with the Lexus name, thereby making all the other suburbanites jealous, and on top of it I get "targeted" advertisements. I'll think about getting a car that spews ads at me if and only if you give me the car for free.

    On the other hand, if you subscribe to the prevailing theory as to why people buy a Lexus in the first place, all of the "targeted" ads will be for Viagra.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:30PM (#26377503)

      Indeed.

      The system will be optional (not sure if that means opt-in or opt-out, though). But who would actually want this kind of thing? At best, the messages will be fairly relevant to the particular buyer (like TFA says, a "wine review" being delivered to a wine connoisseur)--but people already have plenty of ways to get that kind of information (web sites, magazines, etc.), and many of them work in cars (radio, podcasts, etc.).

      At worst, it will be a barrage of spam, and everyone will opt-out. Most probably, the messages will be ads thinly veiled as relevant information (e.g. positive reviews of products from partnering companies), which people will ultimately become annoyed by.

      I can't see this doing anything other than bothering customers.

      • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tsstahl (812393) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:36PM (#26377595)
        How long before the first law suit claiming the ad is responsible for whatever driving calamity happened?

        I can't believe this made it through a thought/mouth filter.
        • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:48PM (#26377779) Homepage Journal

          How long before the first law suit claiming the ad is responsible for whatever driving calamity happened? I can't believe this made it through a thought/mouth filter.

          In my last job I wrote software to control variable message signs on freeways. A lot of effort was put into selecting the messages which are displayed on the principle that any message is a distraction from driving and must be justified if it is presented at all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DriedClexler (814907)

            Oh really now? Make sure to pass that policy onto the police, who always love to have their flashing red-and-blues on and as distracting as possible when they've pulled someone over or are responding to an accident.

            I hear homeowners who get to be awakened by the flashing lights in the middle of the night, would be interested in such a change of policy too...

            • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

              by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3NO@SPAMjustconnected.net> on Thursday January 08, 2009 @08:08PM (#26380513)

              They're trying to prevent people from hitting them. It kills a lot of people each year.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by DriedClexler (814907)

                Yes, I understand they need to be visible, but you don't need to nearly blind every driver on the road to do that. How many people are killed from the distraction? I'm not just talking about lights on, but the kind that you can't ignore at all. Fortunately, they don't use those all the time.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by cayenne8 (626475)
              "Oh really now? Make sure to pass that policy onto the police, who always love to have their flashing red-and-blues on and as distracting as possible when they've pulled someone over or are responding to an accident."

              Not to mention that those strobe lights they usually have...really mess with other drivers that might be drunk or stoned...causing them to wreck, whereas they'd have made it easily without the distractions....

              :)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by russotto (537200)

            In my last job I wrote software to control variable message signs on freeways. A lot of effort was put into selecting the messages which are displayed on the principle that any message is a distraction from driving and must be justified if it is presented at all.

            Which was then over-ridden by higher-ups who make the signs say things like "Don't Drink and Drive", "Seat Belt Law Enforcement In Effect", or whatever other low-priority message they want to put up on them. (Yes, I'm talking to YOU, PennDOT)

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by MichaelSmith (789609)
              Yes that happened here for a while as well. One message said Freeway emergency telephones are for your convenience and safety but a helpful spellchecker changed convenience to connivance.
        • by Al Dimond (792444)

          Nah, this wouldn't be any different from the radio, or from the exsting nav devices.

          If people actually sued for that sort of thing cell phone companies offering car-specific features would have been on the hook a long time ago.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by quacking duck (607555)

            One critical difference: all those features are things (some) drivers want. If they cause an accident, you'll be probably be laughed out of court for filing suit against the makers of these "voluntary" distractions.

            Toss the equivalent of spam at them, in a product they paid tens of thousands of dollars for, and people will be much less willing to hold back the lawsuits. The court will be far more sympathetic too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          you can fix that - require that the car be stopped before delivering the message. If I were into lexus instead of boy racer cars, my first question for the sales guy would be which fuse to pull.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Chyeld (713439)

            Great! According to the article the messages can last up to three minutes. So now you are telling me that I'm going to get stuck behind this jackass of a self-important Lexus driver at a traffic light for three minutes while they listen to a very important message from a Nigerian Prince requesting assistance?

      • by ivan256 (17499)

        Optional like On-Star? When I visited the local Saab dealership when I was buying my last car (I didn't end up with a Saab), every car on the lot had the On-Star "option". Sure, it wasn't a standard feature, and sure they wouldn't deduct the price of it just because you didn't want it and they had installed it anyway. But they couldn't have you saying that a recurring-revenue feature was forced on you, could they? And people wonder why GM is having troubles... I bought a Honda (Acura). They put what I wante

        • Neither I nor anyone in my family has ever bought a new car right off the sales lot. They've either been found with the desired features in nearby locations or (as in my case) were custom-ordered from the factory. Sure, you have to wait a little bit (or four months in my case), but you get exactly what you want.

      • Thinking about it more right now... exactly when will these ads be oh-so-helpfully delivered to me? If I'm listening to the radio or a CD, will it in some way know when there's dead-air on a radio station, or wait until the end of a song (not that it makes this any better to begin with), or will it feel the need to spew out its advertisement in the middle of a song (or conversation, if you like talk-radio)?

        And while we're at it... what if the radio is turned off? Will it helpfully override that oversight

      • by Rary (566291)

        The system will be optional (not sure if that means opt-in or opt-out, though).

        It's opt-in. This is being marketed as a service specifically for people who want to hear from the manufacturer. It's like subscribing to a newsletter -- don't worry, they assure us the subscription will be free :P -- only it's delivered in your car in audio format.

        Basically, I have no complaint about this system, but would never use it. I also can't imagine who would.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:38PM (#26377631)

      The worst mistake I made when I bought my Lexus is that I gave the dealer my cell phone number. Now, I routinely get robo calls from Lexus, reminding about service, my birthday, customer appreciation events, etc... It drives me apoplectic! I have complained multiple times to no avail. It is mind boggling to me that such a quality oriented organization can so completely botch such a simple thing. They buy this new technology that allows them to reach out and annoy their customers and now they can't stop using it.
       

      • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

        by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:22PM (#26378365) Journal

        Take your car back and ask for a refund. Even if you don't get it at least you will have made it very clear to the dealership that you are extremely unhappy and want to take back your business.

        Also try to get in touch with someone fairly high up in Toyota's management / marketing at their corporate HQ and explain to them that you will never buy Toyota again and why. In the mean time keep complaining on the Internet and contact the local business / consumer watch-dogs (Better Business Bureau or whatever) and tell them that it was not made clear to you that your information would be used this way and that you are outraged.

        It's a lot of work but this crap has to stop.

        I'm self-employed and actually work as an advertiser (and I expect to wake up next to a dead horse tomorrow for admitting that here on /.) but I've never been tempted to think up ways to annoy users like this. In fact, I'm of the mind that making customers happy is the best road to success. I know. It's a pretty radical way to think. Give customers what they want, customers pay you and, *gasp*, come back!

        I guess I'm old fashioned. I watch all of my colleagues come out with all of these flash ads and flash pop-ups etc. and I scratch my head wondering how these things catch on. I've had good success sticking to clean, simple, non-obtrusive ads and have never received a single complaint. Consequently my web-site user-base and my bottom line grow month after month (who'd'a thunk it!?). I will never understand why people think there is money in pissing people off.

    • by kabocox (199019)

      On the other hand, if you subscribe to the prevailing theory as to why people buy a Lexus in the first place, all of the "targeted" ads will be for Viagra.

      Wouldn't they be to the nearest gold digger/trophy spouse?

  • by john.picard (1440397) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:18PM (#26377301)
    I hope they plan to charge the spam recipient a nominal fee of $10 for each such spam, with no daily limit on spams and with no way to opt out. Why? Because I own stock in GM.
    • by Valdrax (32670) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:48PM (#26378807)

      Why? Because I own stock in GM.

      Personally, I use Charmin, but I guess some people like to splurge on the fancy paper.

  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:21PM (#26377329)
    If these ads really are relevant to the buyer, my first and only ad would start with "To stop receiving this 'service'..."
  • Why, Lexus, Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bignetbuy (1105123) <r0ck AT operamail DOT com> on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:22PM (#26377341) Journal
    Have these people lost their minds? I spend $60,000 for an automobile and now it will spam me while driving it? Are you serious, Lexus? What could possibly motivate these people to want to spam their customers AFTER a purchase? We are getting closer and closer to Idiocracy [imdb.com].
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:57PM (#26377913)

      Have these people lost their minds? I spend $60,000 for an automobile and now it will spam me while driving it? Are you serious, Lexus? What could possibly motivate these people to want to spam their customers AFTER a purchase?

      "Dude. He just bought the car."

      "Really?"

      "Serious."

      "What else will he buy? Lets try to sell him a bridge."

      "No, no. I've got something better. Let's get him to agree to getting ads in the premium-priced car he just purchased."

      "Brilliant! This is gonna be so good..."

      "OK. Serious face, now. Prepare to witness epic salesmanship."

    • Re:Why, Lexus, Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rary (566291) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:11PM (#26378155)

      I spend $60,000 for an automobile and now it will spam me while driving it?

      First of all, it's technically not spam, since you have to sign up to receive it (it's basically an audio newsletter). Second, it arrives in your inbox before you start driving, not while you're driving.

      I would never sign up for it, but it's not quite what TFS suggests it is (surprise, surprise).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Valdrax (32670)

      Have these people lost their minds? I spend $60,000 for an automobile and now it will spam me while driving it? Are you serious, Lexus? What could possibly motivate these people to want to spam their customers AFTER a purchase?

      I think they've realized that if you spend $60K on a sedan that you:
      (A) Have a lot of disposable income; and
      (B) Are susceptible to status marketing.

      Plus, you've got to know that if they manage to finally pull off the dream goal of truly targeted marketing that some Lexus owners will be smugly proud of receiving "services" that are customized to their needs. That unrealistic fantasy has got to be part of what motivates the marketing goons to think this is an awesome idea.

  • by ivanmarsh (634711) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:25PM (#26377409)

    Toyota officials promise to be discerning and restrained.
    "We're not going to barrage customers with marketing messages," vows Jon Bucci, vice president of Toyota's U.S. advanced technology unit.

    Yeah... and cable television will always be uncensored and commercial free... and sattilite radio will always be uncensored and commercial free...

  • by MadCow42 (243108) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:25PM (#26377411) Homepage

    My ad would read (aloud):

    USED LEXUS FOR SALE - CHEAP, MUST GO. Best suited to hearing impaired. Call 555-1212.

    Stupidest... idea... ever. However, I'm afraid that the world will go more and more this way. I'm surprised that things like this come first in "premium brand" products though - I would expect it more in a bargain-basement car to help subsidize costs maybe, but Lexus?

    MadCow.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:26PM (#26377445)

    "Hello Lexus Owner! This Car will self destruct in 10...9...8..." ... For extra evil, make the first two minutes of the audio dead air.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      And the 2nd hack would be a binaural recording of a police car, dopplering up in frequency as if it is overtaking the Lexus. Played at random intervals. At earsplitting volume.

  • Don't drivers have enough distractions already without getting "targetted adverts" from Lexus?
  • I really doubt the people in the market for a Lexus are the type who would put up with this shit. Lexus better be prepared to lose a lot of customers to BMW and Volvo. Whoever though this up will be jobless in a few years for this one.
    • by un1xl0ser (575642)

      Just like you chose not to read the article, the customer can choose not to use this service.

      I love Ameri^WJapanese ingenuity.

      • Just like you chose not to read the article, the customer can choose not to use this service.

        Get back to us when the choice is to opt in rather than opt out.
  • Tickets & Cellphones (Score:2, Interesting)

    by polyomninym (648843)
    Oh great, now we can't even talk back to the person who is not in the car. Makes me think of no cellphone while driving laws. Oh, was that a red light? I can't wait to see hackers hijack those systems and spam owners with taunts about how they chose the wrong car, or better yet, indie music! This will definitely not be the schizophrenic-friendly ride of the year.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:27PM (#26377457) Homepage Journal
    ...which states that drivers can decide whether or not to play the messages.
    On the plus side, even for those that do decide to listen to the messages, this will only last until the first time somebody has an accident while listening to the message.
    • by MBCook (132727)

      Right.

      I just have to listen to the little "ping" every time one comes in.

      And see the "you have 6 unread messages" message on my dashboard every time I try to look at the map.

      And...

  • Security? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evanbd (210358) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:27PM (#26377461)
    What's that you say? It might be like other software and have occasional security holes in it? I'm sure that won't be a problem [xkcd.com].
  • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:28PM (#26377465) Journal

    detect the implied insult?

    "If you're gullible enough to spend $60k on a Toyota, here's a deal for you!"

  • by straponego (521991) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:28PM (#26377469)
    I would drive straight down to the dealership-- no, make that *into* the dealership...

    OTOH, it fits with the target market quite well. The whole point of the Lexus experience, based on their advertising and on the way they're driven, is to insulate you from the road. You don't have to pay attention at all! You can't hear the road, you don't need to be skilled enough to park, just carry on with your make-up and your phone calls. Are they even available with turn signals?

  • I'm not at all surprised that somebody would try this, after all, what are we if not consumers to be monetized by any means necessary?

    What very much surprises me, though, is that a "high-end" brand would be the one to try it. This is exactly the sort of thing that will, more quickly than just about anything else, puncture the brand's pretensions of being above the hoi-polloi. It's like hearing that Apple is introducing a line of free, ad-supported desktop computers. WTF.
  • by TTURabble (1164837) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:30PM (#26377509)
    Scene: Inside Lexus Car

    Driver: (turns on ignition, car starts)
    Lexus: Good morning Driver 1, thank you for choosing lexus. Today's commute is brought to you by McDonalds, why don't you stop in on your way to work and get a McGriddle and McCoffee?
    Driver: (backs out of driveway, heads down the road) No thanks car, It'll just be to work and back today.
    Lexus: (tone of car changes to be deeper and more aggressive) I'm afraid I can't let you do that Driver 1. (car auto steers to nearest McDonalds, forces driver to purchase McGriddle and McCoffee)
  • Here's a crazy way to make owners stick to your brand:

    Build great products and provide superior service!

    If my car started spamming me, it would go straight back to the dealer. That's a defect, baby. Fix it.

  • . . . are they too big to shove up a Lexus executive's ass?

  • You just dropped a rather sizable chunk of change on a premium car and now you get to deal with unwanted advertising while driving. Yeah. That sounds like the sort of service that people with cash are eager for. What a wonderful service. Were this offered by Kia on a discount car, I wouldn't be terribly surprised (and it'd possibly be an interesting idea - subsidize the car with targeted advertising) but from _Lexus?_ Sometimes marketing people need to be kicked when they come up with moronic ideas like thi
  • Why not?

    Microsoft is already in the vehicle software business(go help us) and there's no reason that hackers will not invade the vehicle's messaging system to send their own messages, or worse.

  • "Car Buyers"? What a strange choice of words. I like to think of myself as an "owner" when I buy something.

    Aren't "buyers" people who buy something on someone else's behalf? Like, "I used to live in South America as a coffee buyer for Folgers."

    -Peter

  • by MBCook (132727)

    I saw the post on Jalopnik a short while ago that Toyota announced this system. I thought it was a great thing. I've wondered why it's taken so long for someone else to take on OnStar. I've also wondered by GM hasn't licensed out OnStar to other car manufacturers, but oh well.

    I didn't see this part. This is amazing. So much for wanting this system. It's not like this is a weird idea, the guy in the article pegged it (albeit more diplomatically).

    "It's a non-starter," says William Matthies of consultants Co

  • please remind me to never purchase a Lexus.

  • Some misunderstood spam (or just an intrusion to the system) could give a whole new meaning to that phrase.
  • by tlambert (566799) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:57PM (#26377917)

    Clippy the Lexus says...

    "It looks like you are driving to your ex-girlfriends house; should I contact the highway patrol to schedule a breathalyzer test?"

    -- Terry

  • This is one more way to put profit over people!

    The world needs a new idea. The old ones are making us sick and we're too used to them to truly see where our problems are coming from.

  • I work in the Cable TV industry - and there was a bunch of talk at some point with respect to cable company DVRs - and disabling the ability to fast-forward through ads.

    The marketing people, at the same time were talking about "on-demand" advertising - where, on a local cable TV system, knowing exactly who was watching a program, that ads could be tailored towards the particular viewer (or household).

    When I told them that removing the ability of the DVRs to skip ads was a complete "deal killer" for most

  • by StikyPad (445176)

    From TFA:

    the service will let Lexus send audio messages to participating owners

    later

    Those who want to participate will see whether they have any messages when they start the vehicle's engine.

    Presumably the model and zip code info would be to send relevant info. There's no point sending info about a sedan to an SUV owner, or vice versa, just as there's little point sending info about an event in CA to a resident of FL.

    I do get "newsletter" e-mails from the Lexus dealership every so often, and while they a

  • Can they use ad revenue to drop the price? I can always replace the stereo...
  • I'm in the market for a new car. I just scratched Lexus off my list just for considering this. It tells me they no respect for their customers.

  • Seriously? In Toyota guise it's a decent car. Reliable, cheap, high spec and well made. In the UK, there are two groups of people who drive Lexuses - people who drive company cars, and thus have the car bought for them and have no real say in the matter, and taxi drivers who buy 2-year-old Lexuses for sweetie money because they have no resale value.

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:34AM (#26383673)
    safety related like "it's icy today, please drive carefully", and notifications of recalls and messages alerting you to traffic conditions. And maybe the odd advert for a local garage to carry out a service when it's due.

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