Menu
Lifestyle

Instead of watching the traffic, how about a movie?

Senior Mercedes engineering executive Jochen Haab with the Level 3 autonomous driving test Sydney to Melbourne last month. Picture: Joshua Dowling
Senior Mercedes engineering executive Jochen Haab with the Level 3 autonomous driving test Sydney to Melbourne last month. Picture: Joshua Dowling

PLENTY of Australians drive to work each day and with the impending adoption of autonomous vehicles, that commute is going to look very different indeed.

While the likes of Tesla, Google, Apple and the world's major car manufacturers work to develop their autonomous driving technology, the entertainment industry is also gearing up for the day when your car drives itself.

Suddenly you'll be free to check your e-mails, do some reading and maybe even take a nap, if the law permits.

But if advertisers and the entertainment industry - who refer to the approaching proliferation of autopiloted cars as a "new consumer space" - have it their way, you'll be watching plenty of content.

In fact, Warner Brothers has already teamed up with Intel to create an immersive entertainment experience for drivers who don't need to watch the road.

"The rise of the AV industry will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment we've seen in a long time," Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich wrote recently.

And it's not just typical screen viewing they've got in mind.

"Not only do we see passengers consuming content ranging from movies and television programming, we imagine riders enjoying immersive experiences never seen before, courtesy of in-cabin Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) innovations," he said.

"For example, a fan of the superhero Batman could enjoy riding in the Batmobile through the streets of Gotham City, while AR capabilities render the car a literal lens to the outside world, enabling passengers to view advertising and other discovery experiences."

Who doesn’t want to ride in the Batmobile?
Who doesn’t want to ride in the Batmobile?

Warner Brothers certainly isn't the only movie studio eyeing off the potential of the autonomous car experience.

Earlier this year, Paramount Pictures hired its first ever in-house futurist, Ted Schilowitz, who believes the windshield can become the movie screen of tomorrow.

"If you look at the windshield and windows, they are 'screens' at the right distance to be entertainment portals," he said.

Some analysts predict that in-car streaming entertainment could be worth as much as $US200 billion per year in extra revenue in the not too distant future, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It does make sense for entertainment companies to race to capitalise on our new-found freedom of attention while on the road. For instance, if Netflix can strike a deal with Tesla to integrate its platform into the car's system it would be a pretty canny way to reach potential new customers. And advertisers are also licking their lips at the possibilities.

"We could deliver interactive, geolocated advertising based on nearby shops, restaurants and businesses," a spokesperson from America's National Association of Broadcasters told Fox News.

The potential to turn what was once a chore into an entertainment experience is immense.

Intel and Warner Brothers have struck a deal for in car entertainment systems.
Intel and Warner Brothers have struck a deal for in car entertainment systems.

And car-loving Australians would no doubt be a prime target given the amount of time many of us spend in traffic each day.

In Sydney, about 58 per cent of commuters relied on their car, according to a survey of 5000 Australian commuters done by the Australian Automobile Association and NRMA earlier this year.

A research report published by the Australian Government in 2016 found that about a third of employed people in Sydney have return commutes to and from work of more than 90 minutes a day - that's basically an entire movie.

The average return trip time in Sydney stands at about 71 minutes, and it's not much better in Melbourne. It's probably the worst part of the day for most people, but perhaps they'll soon be able to pretend they're in the Batmobile while cruising in Gotham City.

Topics:  autonomous car autonomous driving car advice cars news motoring motoring advice



How to score $7 movie tickets

MasterCard's 'Millennials Demystified' UNSW experiment.

People aged 18 to 30 make up a significant chunk of card market

Give cheesecake a bite for summer

A Mojito cheesecake provides a bit of bite to a summer favourite.

BEHIND THE PLATE with Marj Osborne

Looking back on the year of 2017

Tweed Shire Council mayor Katie Milne briefs Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the March flooding disaster.

A message from Tweed Mayor Katie Milne

Local Partners

Nasa finds solar system with another eight planets

Nasa has found an entire solar system with as many planets as our own.

Simple hack to stop weight gain

This habit comes at a price and can lead to several health problems.

Christmas stress? Try it with six kids under 11

Author and actor Madeleine West. Picture: Nicole Cleary

She has six children aged 11, 9, 7, 5 and 3-year-old twins.

Dog dies with walker: 'I think I left your dog in my car'

Police have issued a devastating reminder to never, ever leave your dog in a hot car.

“I’m really sorry, I think I left your dog in my car”.

What would you do if this crawled up your windscreen?

What would you do if this was on the other side of your windscreen?

Gympie contractor 'surprised' by scaly hitch-hiker.

Grace awarded overseas scholarship to study, intern

NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop (left) awards Grace Manahan with a New Colombo Plan scholarship.

'Grace is a role model, proving great opportunities are available'

Hard work and faith leads Josh to big HSC result

St Andrews Christian School captain Joshua Rowe shwos off his HSC results in which he received four Band 6 results.

Degree at Sydney University a possibility for St Andrew's captain