With TVs in the back of taxis, advertisements are already unavoidable when catching a ride. So we might as well get something out of it other than a slogan stuck in our heads. Google recently received a patent for a taxi service that would be paid for by advertisers. The idea is that free rides will motivate consumers to visit stores and restaurants.
Advertisements would show up on your phone or at public kiosk and offer you a free ride if the algorithm, which factors in you current location, the cost of transportation, and the potential profit from a sale once you get there. Don't think you can keep mooching free rides, though. Because Google would ask you to sign in and track your purchases, it would know if you've been milking the system and stop offering you rides.
This service could also utilize Google's autonomous vehicles. The patent was filed for by the driverless car division. Google hasn't announced anything about the taxi service, so we have no idea when or even if it will come to fruition. But if it does, expect existing taxi services to feel the pressure.
[via ARS Technica]