One of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of the approaching autonomous era is all the extra time people will have once they no longer have to drive cars themselves – often referred to as the 25th hour. Be it on the daily commute or on long road trips, autonomous driving promises the luxurious feel of a chauffeur-driven experience – but this time not only reserved for the happy few.
“The possibilities are virtually endless," says Stefan Balkowiec, Director Product Solutions & Strategy Digital Cockpit at HARMAN. “Users can choose to relax and listen to music or watch video content, they can use social media, read, shop, chat with friends, work, eat or use their vehicle as a perfectly informed travel guide – the list goes on."
“The versatility of our display and digital-cockpit technology paired with 5G and cloud computing means passengers in a vehicle can access and use virtually the same breadth of digital content as at home or in the office."
At CES 2018, HARMAN showcased another vision of shared autonomous mobility that separates the passenger cabin from the vehicle chassis to create a hugely versatile mobility solution that can be anything you want it to be – from commuter vehicle, to mobile meeting space, to camper van or goods transporter and more besides.
“The versatility of our latest display and digital-cockpit technology paired with 5G communications and cloud computing means passengers in a vehicle can access and use virtually the same breadth of digital content as they would at home or in the office," explains Balkowiec.
Personalization is automatic and secured by a three-way process that includes biometric authentication and ensures no trace of individual data or content remains onboard once the passenger leaves the vehicle. In shared-vehicle scenarios, the Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) would be able to determine a music or video choice to suit all passengers based on the preferences stored in their profiles, while ambient noise compensation ensures they have the quiet space they need.
“All of this can be managed on a flexible and scalable end-to-end cloud platform like HARMAN Ignite," says Balkowiec. “Automakers can use this to create bespoke user experiences that convey their specific brand identity and provide additional business opportunities as they continue to develop their mobility models. There is also substantial scope for the development of business models for other areas of in-vehicle content."
For consumers, autonomous driving will increasingly merge mobility with other aspects of their everyday lives, blurring the boundaries between travel and the ultimate destination. Not only does this promise to remove the stress from travel and improve productivity, it will also be able to deliver that most precious of commodities – time.