Indianapolis Ford dealers may soon have something that no car dealership has ever had before. Ford is making significant moves to step up its game and make their cars a little “smarter.” Now that technology has advanced so far as to make autonomous driving a potential reality of the future, Ford is making plans to give drivers something to do when they are passengers behind the steering wheel instead of the actual drivers. Sure, many people will play on their phones, but they may soon have the opportunity to catch up on their television shows instead.
Back in January, Ford announced that it was making a real effort to break into the world of fully autonomous driving. They have set specific conditions under which this might be considered safe and possible. However, they also applied for a patent for an “autonomous entertainment system” that turns a vehicle into a mobile movie theater that can be enjoyed from any seat in the vehicle.
Specific Driving Conditions
Ford doesn’t expect you to cruise around just any city while watching a movie. In fact, the autonomous system is going to be engineered to work on highways and in Smart cities. In other conditions, the driver will be in control. The level of control that the driver assumes is what dictates the mobile viewing conditions. Even when the driver is in control, technology like hazard warnings, lane correction, and autonomous parallel parking can be engaged.
It’s All in the Details
The autonomous vehicle entertainment system was designed based on the knowledge that people spend fifteen and a half hours a day using some sort of media device. The average citizen also spends forty-six minutes a day in their vehicle. If the two can be combined, it might mean less stress and more time spent doing the things you enjoy.
Here’s how the system works. When the car is in autonomous mode, a screen slides out from the ceiling to land in front of the driver. At this point, the car is doing all of the driving. However, when the driver takes over the wheel, the screen slides back up into the ceiling. That doesn’t mean it goes away, though. The images are now on the dash rather than on the screen. That means that even while driving, the driver can still listen to and glance at the media being presented. Things like hazard warnings help the driver to maintain safety while still being able to be entertained.
The system isn’t in vehicles yet, but Indianapolis and Bloomington car dealerships are learning all they can about the new technology so that they are able to answer questions as the customers ask them. As of now, autonomous driving isn’t something that is going to be in every vehicle, so the system isn’t necessary. This is definitely something that might be a reality as an option sometime in the near future, whether Ford uses it or not. It will be interesting to see what other amenities will be designed for drivers who spend a large portion of their time on the road.