Driving away the competition with an innovative in-taxi advertising display headrest

Blueline Group

Software | Development

The challenge

As the largest private hire taxi firm in the North East of England, Blueline Group wanted to launch an innovative geo-targeted advertising system to operate within their fleet car headrests that rivalled existing models with static, rolling advertising messages.

With expertise in complex software development, Land Digital were enlisted to take Fareplay from a concept to a functional advertising revenue stream that could be rolled out across their expansive fleet - providing passengers with real-time advertising content based on their location and time of travel.

The process

As a completely new concept, we started with a research phase, identifying suitable hardware and software solutions that could support a real-time tablet-based headrest. Working closely with leading technology suppliers in Europe, we personally sourced and designed prototypes from Belgium to begin testing the tablet-based headrest, ensuring it had the capability to connect via 4G to upload media remotely.

We also began working in-house on the software development side to support the headrest tablets. This involved building a robust software program that incorporated App development and API development that would integrate into the backend web-based admin panel, enabling targeted media to be sent to display screens in real time to any selected vehicle.

The final phase was to carry out stringent testing to ensure what worked in theory delivered out ‘in the wild’. This included us physically testing the tablet headrests on the road, assessing their functionality from a hardware and software perspective to deliver the best results for Blueline Group operators, their future advertisers and the end user.

Initial testing highlighted a number of troubleshooting issues including poor signal, even in static conditions. Not deterred, we continued testing the device in the field, working closely with Blueline Group to make sure we reached even the furthest corners of their service area to make sure any teething problems were resolved before the system went live.

The result

The entire process didn’t come without its challenges, but thanks to a unified strategy and thorough testing processes, as well as additional iterations based on initial feedback from Blueline Group, Fareplay is now operational in taxis across the North East of England.

Having installed Fareplay devices in 200 taxis within the Blueline Group fleet, they are now able to offer high-quality, geo-targeted advertising opportunities to local businesses seeking to reach a captive audience.

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