Intel Wants to Make Trips in Autonomous Cars to Mimic a Theme-Park Ride

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【Summary】Autonomous cars will allow drivers to gain some of the time they spend behind the wheel of a car back, but Intel thinks that time should be spent in enjoyment, not working.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Dec 08, 2017 11:15 AM PT
Intel Wants to Make Trips in Autonomous Cars to Mimic a Theme-Park Ride

There are numerous upsides to autonomous cars. One of the major ones is that people who spend countless hours sitting in traffic, which basically involves crawling up a few feet and then coming to a complete stop again repeatedly until you reach your final destination, will have the ability to multitask. While the majority of drivers will either use this time to catch up on work, read a book, text, or watch funny videos on YouTube, some companies want this time to be more enjoyable. 

Why Not Have Some Fun?

In a more light-hearted approach to autonomous vehicles, Intel and Warner Bros., according to an article by New Atlas, are already hard at work on making trips in self-driving cars a little more enjoyable. According to the report, the two companies are looking for ways to bring "in-cabin immersive experiences" to driverless-car owners. 

As New Atlas points out, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claimed that the shift to autonomous vehicles "will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment we've seen in a long time" in an editorial for the company.

The verdict's still out on how fully-autonomous vehicles will look in the future, as automakers are looking for ways to capitalize on being able to be as futuristic as they please. One of the more noteworthy autonomous vehicles we've seen is the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion, which is laid out like a small office space on the inside. As a quick recap, the vehicle has four rotating lounge chairs that face each other (front ones face back, while the back seats face forward), wood floors, and six displays. It's not really an interior, but more of a "digital living space," claims Mercedes-Benz. 

While Mercedes is looking for ways to allow consumers to get as much work done as possible when inside the vehicle, Intel and Warner Bros. are heading in a different direction – one that includes in-cabin entertainment. As New Atlas reports, Krzanich is envisioning a world where virtual reality and augmented reality help make trips in autonomous vehicles similar to a theme-park ride.

Bringing Fun To Your Own Vehicle

"For example, a fan of the superhero Batman could enjoy riding in the Batmobile through the streets of Gotham City, while AR capabilities render the car a literal lens to the outside world, enabling passengers to view advertising and other discovery experiences," said Krzanich. 

As a Batman fan, this sounds like something right up my alley. But there's one major red flag in Krzanich's statement, which involves ads. If you thought an autonomous future would see you sitting back in your car, relaxing as you let the car do all of the driving, you're dead wrong. An autonomous future and advertisements go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, as New Atlas points out, the only way to travel in autonomous vehicles and no get any ads would be to pay a premium. Some automakers, like BMW, though, have vowed to keep ads out of autonomous vehicles.

Think the idea of turning a car ride into a theme-park ride is dumb? Well, the whole idea behind the thinking, as Krzanich points out, is to make people more comfortable with the fact that they're not driving. "While the possibilities of in-cabin entertainment are fun to imagine, the ultimate test for the future of autonomous cars is going to be winning over passengers," he said. "The technology will not matter if there are no riders who trust and feel comfortable using it." 

Intel's new proposal is called the AV Entertainment Experience and should be in concept form in an actual car in the near future. 

via: New Atlas, Intel

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