WASHINGTON — Here is what’s around the corner: Smart digital billboards will detect the make, model and year of oncoming vehicles and project ads tailored to the motorist.

Roadside cameras will read license plates, and powerful computers will make snap judgments based on likely home address, age, race and income level to pitch products or services through the billboards.

Once ads flash up on roadside digital screens, the sales pitch may not stop. Any mobile phones in a passing vehicle may light up with a reinforcing message linked to the ad.

A series of factors are reshaping the quintessential experience of the road trip or job commute. Smart billboards are already here, gracing the sides of bus shelters, urban interstates and pedestrian walkways. And as the digital billboards grow in size and number – rotating ads, customizing them to passing traffic and earning far more income – old-fashioned billboards face an existential moment.

Throw in artificial intelligence and powerful computers, and the roadside experience is on the cusp of change. Digital electronic billboards actually stare at us – and make judgments about who we are and how we might spend our money.

“Often your car is a proxy for demographics. We get several ad agencies who say, I want to advertise to affluent men over $100,000 (in annual salary) with XYZ education. Often driving a BMW or an Audi is a proxy for that,” said Kevin Foreman, general manager of geoanalytics at INRIX, a Kirkland, Wash., company that gathers and sells real-time traffic information.

To determine make, model and year of cars on the road, start-up companies marry computing, roadside sensors or cameras and pinpoint advertising.

Smart billboards can also target motorists on the highway or pedestrians passing bus shelters by picking up cellular or mobile signatures, Wi-Fi signals or even beaconing given off by certain apps.

Moreover, the data industry collects vast information about the whereabouts of mobile users by the apps on their smartphones.