Fully autonomous vehicles are going to impact multiple aspects of our daily lives, some more profound than others. Volvo is working to tackle one of the more lighthearted, trivial situations that our future holds - staying entertained during commutes.
With all the free time that self-driving cars will afford, the Swedish automaker assumes you'll likely want to catch up on your favorite show or take in a movie. While some of today's vehicles do offer in-car Wi-Fi that makes streaming media possible, you're bound to hit some areas with spotty cellular reception, especially on long road trips or in rural areas. Then there's the issue of what to watch (first world problems, I know).
To tackle these concerns, Volvo is partnering with Ericsson to develop an autonomous vehicle entertainment experience. The system will recommend episodes of TV shows or movies that you'll be able to watch in their entirety based on the length of your commute.
It'll also take the route into consideration as it relates to network coverage. For example, if the system anticipates you'll be traveling through a cellular dead zone half way into your commute, it'll buffer your programming to ensure an interruption-free experience while you are without reception.
Volvo said its research shows that video will account for nearly 70 percent of all mobile data traffic in the coming years, hence why it's developing such a system ahead of time.