When Gartner published its annual "Gartner Hype Cycle," autonomous automobiles were at the top of the list. Expectations are high when it comes to self-driving cars, and they might be met sooner than later. Automobile industry consultants predict that by January 2025, self-driving cars will be a reality. But what will they look like? While the possibilities are endless, here are a few of our favorites.
Where's the Dashboard?
When you're out shopping for a car, one of the first things you take notice of is the dashboard. Does it provide GPS navigation? Are your favorite apps built into the infotainment system? Well, when self-driving cars hit the market, the dashboard may all but disappear. Rather than the array of buttons and interfaces, you'll likely find a simple screen programmed via your phone. Car makers are already realizing that drivers' phones offer all of the same services their infotainment systems can, and sometimes the phone versions work better and allow users to better customize them. Google's latest prototype, a 2-seater car, barely has a dashboard at all, which seems to confirm that car makers are taking the hint.
More Living Space than Car
A concept drawn up by Mercedes shows an autonomous car with large digital screens lining the doors and walls, suggesting apps to the driver and his or her passengers to enjoy. The concept even shows all four seats facing inward toward the center of the car, rather than having everyone forward facing. It gives the impression of a living room where friends causally hang out. When there's someone else taking the wheel (i.e. a robot), the driver is more free to be distracted, interacting with the passengers in the car rather than focusing solely on the road. It's somewhat hard to believe, but apparently it could happen.
Many of the designs for self-driving cars presented at a recent conference emphasized larger designs rather than smaller ones, providing passengers a true lounging space. This opens up possibilities for features such as reclining seats, fold-out tables and desks, and so much more.
Pumped up Audio
The noise that traffic provides can be annoying most of the time, but drivers always have to be aware of it. There is always the possibility that a police officer or ambulance will need to pass by to respond to an emergency, so they flip on their lights and blare their sirens and horn. Or maybe you're distracted and don't notice traffic is stopped ahead of you, and a quick blast of a horn from a fellow driver can wake you up. This is why drivers aren't able to use noise canceling headphones while driving, and why car audio has to have its limits. But if your car is driving itself and programmed to interpret and respond to those sounds, that frees up the driver to have a more intense audio experience. Noise cancelling headphones could become a standard in autonomous cars; more powerful subwoofers could even make an appearance.
While the self-driving car could soon become a reality, there is still a long way to go. In the meantime, if you're looking for some new equipment to bring your car into the 21st century, stop by Soundz Good Stereo. We have everything you need to customize your car to fit your style and personality.