Ford patents an in-car movie theater that covers self-driving vehicles' windshields

By midian182
Mar 9, 2016
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  1. Over the next ten to fifteen years, self-driving vehicles are expected to start populating roads across most of the world. But when autonomous cars become the norm, what will passengers do while they’re being driven around? Look at the scenery? Talk to other passengers? Judging from a recent patent, Ford has a better idea: a drop-down movie projection screen that covers the car’s windshield.

    Ford’s patent for an “Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment System” has already been approved by the US Patent Office. It seems the company theorizes that, as these vehicles won’t require human interaction, why not put a cinema in them for those long, boring journeys.

    According to the patent, initially uncovered by Forbes, "The entertainment system controller presents media content on a first display while the vehicle is operating in the autonomous mode and on a second display when the vehicle is operating in a non-autonomous mode."

    In addition to the projection screen, the patent suggests that a projector will drop down from the vehicle’s roof. Drawings also indicate that the front seats could be removed to give a full cinema experience.

    An on-board computer will monitor the autonomous driving sensors and automatically switch to manual mode if it detects a problem, such as a pending collision. Should a passenger want, or need, to take control of a vehicle, the screen and projector will retract, although it’s not clear how someone would drive the car if the front seats are missing.

    When the big screen isn’t in use, the patent states that another display, integrated into “a dashboard, an instrument cluster, or a rearview mirror” will be available.

    Like all patents, there’s a strong possibility that this will never become a reality. “Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans,” said Ford spokesman Alan Hall.

    Hopefully, this will make it past the patent stage; when autonomous cars become a regular sight, having mini-cinemas inside them may be a fairly cool, if slightly scary, feature.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,142   +482

    And when the movie is over, the screen goes up and you realize that your car is about to drive off a cliff because something in the system derped XD
    cliffordcooley, H3llion and p51d007 like this.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 862   +353

    I was going to say about the same thing, but more along the lines of you can watch a movie and when google thinks you need to drive off a cliff, you can plummet to your death, not knowing what killed you.
    cliffordcooley and stewi0001 like this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,142   +482

    lol yea I went with, it's too late to do anything as you see your demise.
    cliffordcooley and p51d007 like this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +677

    Well you got to admit, at least you won't know what happened ... of course if you get one of those new dashboard cams that are on TV for $39.95, your survivors will have the play by play. Sure beats the heck out of those stuffy funerals I've been going to lately!
  6. mcborge

    mcborge TS Addict Posts: 172   +88

    Ford haven't thought this one through have they.... "Today's free movie, Death race" aaaahhh!
    Raoul Duke, p51d007 and Icysoul like this.
  7. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    That would be awesome, talk about increasing tension while watching a movie!
    p51d007 likes this.
  8. TheNerdyNerd

    TheNerdyNerd TS Member

    Oh good, now you can relive the Final Destination 2 car crash scene in 4D!
  9. mcborge

    mcborge TS Addict Posts: 172   +88

    ford could go one step further and use vr headsets and force feedback in the seats for that full brown trouser experience!
  10. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +308

    and the upload to YouTube for some ad revenue. If they are lucky and it goes viral they could even become rich!
  11. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Booster Posts: 151   +47

    Right, because we don't get enough sitting on the couch away from reality at home now. lol.
    BMfan likes this.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Lets hope it was at least a good movie (such as: Thelma & Louise), when that happens.
  13. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    Uncle Al and Peter Farkas like this.
  14. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 214   +67

    - Honey, you wanna watch a movie tonight?
    - Yes darling, should I get the munchies?
    - Nah, lets just sit in the car and watch it while it is cruising in downtown. We are gonna grab the munchies from a McDonald's Drive-thru.....

    OTOH, I already see a lot of guys jacking off on the highway.... :)
  15. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    Why do you drive around looking for that anyways...nm I don't want to know you already gave tmi.
  16. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 214   +67

    you are misinterpreting as always and going off-topic and personal. I feel sorry for you...
  17. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    You said you see that now and I couldn't understand why youd want to. I dont want to know. Ewww
  18. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    Did everyone give their cell number before going in and if so did they not think of it as odd?
  19. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    No, it showed using local area to call all in the area.
  20. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    So that is possible?
  21. JB Hickok

    JB Hickok Banned Posts: 29

    Of course it's possible, didn't you see it?
    A location based broadcaster can send a text to all phones in the area capable of receiving a text.

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