New E-Ink Display For Trucks Provides Location Triggered Ads


This could be genius. Some time ago I covered a prototype by Samsung of a ‘safety truck’ with a video wall on the back made of four exterior monitors. The wall was constantly showing the images coming from a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck.
In that case, the purpose of the system was allowing the driver stuck behind the vehicle have a better understanding of whether it was safe to overtake or not. Now, German interactive advertising company RoadAds and Slovenian startup Visionect have partnered to create another live truck screen, one that can be used for more than just overtaking.
They have combined four 32-inch grayscale E-Ink displays, mounted in tiled billboards at the rear of the truck, to provide real-time location targeted ads, GPS-triggered information on traffic jams ahead, and other details, like the distance to the next gas station or changes in road signalization.
Each billboard is equipped with GPS, 4G and Wi-Fi modules: using RoadAds’ online platform, a truck’s location can be determined with accuracy, and the screen content can be adapted to create location-targeted messages, in the language of the country the vehicle is passing through.
This could help increase the effectiveness of truckside ads, which are often created only for a certain geographic and cultural context.
“There are about 2.8 million trucks in Germany alone, with each of these trucks having more than 50,000 views a day,” the managing director of RoadAds, Andreas Widmann said in a statement. “It would be a perfect advertising space if not for the limitations of the printed ad. As a truck moves from Frankfurt to Paris, the ad from a local Frankfurt restaurant in German is no longer effective and the opportunity to benefit from the ad is lost.”
It’s not easy to find recent, independent, studies that estimate the impact of mobile billboards on customers. Many reports are either funded by industry associations, which might have a vested interest in promoting this kind of ads or are simply obsolete.
An oft-quoted piece of research, “The Visual Impact of Trucks in Traffic”, published originally in 1977 by the American Trucking Association, can hardly be considered up to date.
A more recent work, the Transit Momentum Study published in 2012 by Apn Outdoor, seems to suggest that moving ads indeed do have a greater impact on the brain than static ones.
Whatever the case, an interactive, E-Ink display sounds like a fascinating concept which will be interesting to see in action.
The first 1000 electronic paper truck displays, the companies say, are expected to become commercially available in June 2017, with five trucks hitting the roads this November as part of a pilot trial.
A live demo will be showcased at the IAA Commercial Vehicles conference, taking place until September 29 in Hannover, Germany. As for the cost, RoadAds will offer the displays at the fair at a special discount: €15,500 ($17,300) per truck.