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Pop-up Advertisements in Vehicle Systems Trigger Safety Concerns


Recently, FAW-Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and other car companies have trended on Chinese social media because of their pop-up advertisements displayed in their vehicle systems. In fact, Great Wall Motor’s HAVAL and NIO car owners have posted a few times about the problems they’ve encountered with the pop-up advertising. In the process of launching advertisements on the central control screen of automobiles, enterprises are encountering challenges including safe driving, consumer acceptance, and legal compliance.

The central control screen displays the navigation information every day. When the user is driving on the highway at a speed of 100 km/h and is about to turn, a pop-up advertisement may cause the user to miss the intersection, or suddenly change lanes or apply the brakes, resulting in a greater risk of traffic accidents.

According to tipsters, when a FAW-Volkswagen ID.6 owner was using the vehicle’s navigation system, an advertisement suddenly popped up on the vehicle’s screen and took up nearly half of the screen. Just a few days after this matter was widely discussed, a Mercedes-Benz GLC owner posted that he encountered the same problem in that a pop-up advertisement blocked the speed limit and road condition information on the screen. To make matters worse, the closing button is small and located on the right side of the screen further away from the driver.

In fact, it is not the first time that advertisements have popped up on automobile screens. Last year, some netizens revealed that the HAVAL H6 and WEY Mocha models of Great Wall Motors had pop-up advertisements that occupied almost the entire screen.

NIO also saw complaints by users on Weibo last year because of the push notifications of advertisements on the vehicle screen. Judging from pictures found online, the advertisement was “NIO Life’s new fashion and environmental protection brand Blue Sky Lab debuts in Shanghai Fashion Week”. The blogger who posted the picture said that it is an advertisement that was pushed into the notification bar. According to the blogger’s point of view, advertisements shouldn’t be pushed to a vehicle users’ notification bar like a smartphone.

So is this a pop-up advertisement push by navigation software? Judging from the content of the pop-up advertisements, most of them are directly related to the promotion of the vehicle brand itself, so manufacturers and dealers are more likely to be responsible for the problem. Mercedes-Benz’s customer service staff previously responded that the pop-up advertisement should not be being pushed by the car system itself, but by third-party software.

On September 30 this year, regulations on the Internet pop-up information services were officially implemented. The regulations make it clear that pop-up advertising should be identifiable and feature a prominent closing icon. They are also required to clearly inform users of the specific form, frequency, cancellation channel of the pop-up information in the service agreement, and the provider needs to be clearly shown to users.

Therefore, in the future, pop-up advertisements on the vehicle terminal must also act in accordance with the regulations. However, its not sure whether they can be completely canceled.

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