FULLY self-driving cars may be a long way off, especially since the fatal Uber accident last month, but that isn’t stopping some technology companies ploughing ahead with their autonomous vehicle development programmes.
Apple, for example, has just filed a patent that could mean your commute to work by its forthcoming self-driving car involves driving through a simulated post-apocalyptic wasteland with virtual zombies attacking from all sides.
The tech giant’s patent application involves windowless cars with interior screens displaying virtual-reality footage that is synchronised with the motion of the vehicle.
The cars would have powerful sound systems and “active seats” to provide “physical effects” to mimic scenarios such as turbulence and collisions.
According to the application, the interactivity may even allow a passenger in the car to feel that they’ve run over a zombie or, to add a sense of jeopardy, make it seem that the vehicle had stalled at a red light and unable to be restarted until the light turns green.”
Passengers would be able to choose exciting experiences such as a zombie attack or car chase, but equally, owners could choose a relaxing virtual experience, such as floating down a river, driving through fictional landscapes or historical version of a city, or even soaring over the landscape in a hang-glider.
Some of these scenarios could “reduce motion sickness” in its Project Titan self-driving car, Apple claims.
Additionally, passengers could wear VR headsets to attend “virtual meetings” with colleagues.