Can VR Technology Fend Off Boredom in Autonomous Vehicles?

Auto Tech Outlook | Friday, June 28, 2019

Consumers in this digital era cannot tolerate boredom, and it is up to the manufacturers to integrate their autonomous vehicles with attractive entertainment features.

FREMONT, CA – Until now, drivers were expected to sit tight in their seats and focus on the road. But that was before the emergence of autonomous vehicles. In this age of technology, sitting in a self-driving car for hours seems unimaginable. When consumers invest in autonomous vehicles, they do not expect the same old interior, albeit without the steering wheel. To enhance their experience, autonomous vehicle manufacturers need to develop digital systems that can keep the passengers occupied.

When car users do not need to drive anymore, the vehicles need some features to alleviate their boredom. Several startups backed by established car manufacturers are developing virtual reality (VR) systems to enhance road experiences of passengers by allowing passengers to explore virtual planets and deep oceans. 

The computer in the car trunk logs the movements of the vehicle and sends relevant signals to the VR goggles to adjust the view, thus averting motion sickness. For instance, Nissan recently showcased a set of VR goggles designed to deliver real-time information to the passengers. It can also project cartoon characters which can interact with the wearers. For instance, the Holoride developed by Audi offers a combination of autonomous driving and VR technology to create virtual adventures that sync with the vehicle movement.

The autonomous car manufacturers are aiming to enhance the riding experience for all passengers rather than focusing solely on the driver. Even though it might take some time to regain public trust in autonomous vehicles, car companies are investing in self-driving vehicles in anticipation of the changing trend.

However, several manufacturers revealed that the virtual experiences would be deployed when the sector achieves complete autonomous standards when self-driving vehicles can navigate any terrain in a wide range of circumstances without human intervention. Many organizations are not optimistic about the rapid development of self-driving technology, and hence, it might take some time for the virtual reality experiences to be integrated into the vehicles.

Regardless of the prolonged deployment, technological innovations in autonomous vehicles have drawn the attention of consumers from all over the world. But before large-scale VR deployments, many of the technical issues in autonomous vehicles will need to be resolved.

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