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

midian182

Posts: 6,078   +50
Staff member

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.

 

p51d007

Posts: 2,518   +1,804
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
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.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,485   +5,992
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!
 
R

Raoul Duke

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

Peter Farkas

Posts: 456   +244
- 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.... :)
 

Technician

Posts: 677   +115
- 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.... :)
Why do you drive around looking for that anyways...nm I don't want to know you already gave tmi.