Picture the scene. You are cruising down the M40 at a steady 70 miles per hour in your autonomous vehicle when you think what should I do next? I’ve already completed the Sudoku and the Times Crossword. What I’d really like to do is sit back and watch a movie.
Well pretty soon you may be able to. At least if Ford gets its way.
According to Wired magazine, the car manufacturer has just patented an entertainment system that could basically turn the windshield of your car into a giant 50inch home cinema screen.
The abstract for the patent, filed in the US at the start of March, describes the system in full, including a screen-switching function to flick between windshield mode and a smaller in-dash display.
It reads: “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.
“A method includes determining whether a vehicle is operating in an autonomous mode [….] and transferring presentation of the media content to a second display when the vehicle is operating in a non-autonomous mode.”
But don’t get too excited. It’s likely to be a little while before you sit back and relax in your cinema car or movie motor.
A Ford spokesperson told Forbes “We submit patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business. Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.” Spoilsports!