As technology evolves, autonomous or self-driving vehicles are slowly becoming a reality. Although there’s still a long way to go before these cars practically work as planned, Ford is already pushing the envelope by letting drivers sit back, relax, and watch full-length movies.
This off-the-box idea came when Ford recently gained a clearance from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Engineers then went to the drawing board to create their first dibs of this “autonomous vehicle entertainment system.”
What they came up with is an interior design with front seats that slide back to give room for a huge roll-away screen. An overhead projector then sends video footage onto the screen, and there you go – instant movie house on wheels.
While not going way too technical about this, the US patent describes the system as having 2 computer controllers; an Autonomous Mode Controller (AMC) and an Entertainment System Controller (ESC).
The AMC engages the vehicle’s self-driving mode while the ESC, on the other hand, determines whether the vehicle is driving itself or not. When on auto-pilot mode, the ECS makes use of a primary display to show movie contents. If the driver decides to take control and disengages AMC, the ESC then shifts to the secondary display for continued viewing pleasure.
Of course, this next-generation in-car entertainment system still has plenty of studies ahead of it, most especially with regards to safety and passenger space. As with past concepts, this design might even be shelved for a more practical or less technical version, which would still give drivers some control (or at least awareness of the road ahead).
Given enough time and technological playground to progress, this system might someday come to life as a standard feature on most vehicles, especially Ford’s. That alone is something worth looking forward to.
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