What about a more real-world connected car?

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The general idea of a fully autonomous vehicle is one that’s filled with displays and let’s us zone out in a book or play a game on our phone, or perhaps even watch a film on a giant display that’s taken the place of the wind screen. This is all well and good, but not everyone wants a connected car future that sees us disappear further into our technology. What about a car that’s designed to make the real world more appealing?

That’s what the guys over at Pocket-Lint have been discussing and they have some fairly interesting ideas about what an autonomous car could be. Instead of a mobile meeting room, or opportunity to zone out with a movie or smartphone game, they suggest new ways which we could interact with the world through our car.

One example was using autonomous vehicles like digital tour guides. Instead of using piloted cars to have us flying down the motorway at 100 miles per hour, barely taking in the scenery around us, the writer suggests that our car could take us down oft-unused roads, or via specific landmarks, giving us information on the road and its surroundings as we go.

Another options is the connected, unconnected car. What this means is that while the car itself remains heavily connected to cloud servers, safety systems and is using all of its advanced technology to stop you careening into a wall at high speed, it could shut off everything else within the vehicle, making phones inoperable and making sure you don’t get any messages or calls from anyone. That way you could throw a bed in there and let people really relax on their way to work or on that long journey to visit family.

A sleeper car has already been though of, of course.

A sleeper car has already been though of, of course.

Perhaps one of the more interesting ideas though is to change the idea of a car altogether. If the vehicle can drive itself and doesn’t require us to pay much attention, there’s a lot of… car, there that doesn’t need to be there. Since most car journeys only transport the driver, building them to fit just one person could be an economically viable idea. Perhaps those cars could even be connected together for increased efficiency while on motorways and heading in the same direction?

It’s an interesting idea, turning the car into something different from what it is today rather than just giving us another space to get bored in and wish it was over sooner rather than later. Indeed as the writer points out, there’s lots of opportunities to go on our phones already, do we need another one?

Of course this discounts those that would use that time they usually sit in traffic to read a book, or do something more productive with their time. Not everyone is obsessed with taking selfies and scrolling through reddit and imgur on the hour every hour.

What would you guys like to see in new connected cars?

 

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.