The idea of a television tuner, DVD or Blu-Ray player mounted in the dash of your car is nothing new, with both factory and aftermarket offerings available for years.
But, just as your home TV has grown to ridiculous proportions over the years, your in-car entertainment might be about to do the same thing if the latest patent filing from Ford is anything to go by.
Designed to be bundled with autonomous driving systems, the ‘Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment System’ patent filing depicts a cinema-style screen that unfurls from the top of the windscreen, and a roof mounted projector to generate the images.
While the idea sounds somewhat extreme, it’s production future is almost certainly a long way out. While Ford may use the system in a future concept car, it is simply more likely protecting its intellectual property, just in case.
With autonomous systems likely to be introduced to vehicles gradually, and still requiring driver intervention and attention in their early stages, you won’t be able to sit back and watch Free Willy on your way to work just yet.
While Ford’s patent diagram indicates a windscreen-filling screen, the accompanying documentation describes a system that would deactivate to allow the driver to resume vehicular control.
The screen itself may not be a typical cinema screen, but could instead be provided via an electro-chromatic windscreen allowing instant switching to an outside view.
While the patent filing gives a glimpse at how we might occupy our time behind the wheel of a car that does all the driving, there’s no mention of how your popcorn or choc-top will be provided.
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