Remember when, two years ago or more, self driving cars were the hot topic firing our imaginations?
This was originally posted a couple of years ago and is shared with you unedited.. truth has already become stranger and more twisted than we could ever imagine..
Google’s Self-Driving Car (now a spinoff called “Waymo“) will be a reality very soon. From a consumer perspective, there are many positive aspects to winning back this free time in your day, and arriving at your destination safely and in a relaxed state.
The surface questions have already been asked, but perhaps the impact (if you’ll pardon the pun) of having an information behemoth like Google influencing your decisions, while being in control of your geospacial location, bears some investigation and thought…
Caveat Emptor: I am not a good – or reliable – blogger; any thoughts and notions expressed below do not reflect current or future reality, except in my own mind..
So, imagine, you’re heading home after a long day at the coalface. the car has welcomed you by opening its consumer portal (door) and you step in and make yourself extremely comfortable into a seat that has already adjusted itself to the most appropriate settings for your physical condition at the time. You are tired, and feel like some “me time”, so choose to have an “Immersive Experience”…
Now read on – it gets a bit weird from here on in…
The car as an immersive experience
This is really interesting. The car would lend itself very well to becoming The Virtual Reality Experience: the windows would darken, full AV experience would kick in, and you’d suddenly find yourself in the jungles of Borneo, or paddling down the Amazon.. this wouldn’t just be the lame, and somehow disappointing VR ride down a roller coaster that we’re used to today. Oh no, this experience would be AMAZING: All senses would be engaged. Getting in a car would be an experience like the most immersive cinema you’ve ever enjoyed. Think the first time you saw Star Wars (or Avatar, if you’re younger).
It could even be 3D!! (for premium content only of course)
Little suspension hiccups could be introduced (when stationary of course!) to simulate hitting a rock while cycling down the side of a mountain, or paddling through rapids. These experiences would be available from a downloadable library (in a standard format of course), reflecting your current mood, health (nothing too extreme if your personal health monitor was concerned!), and personal preferences. The experiences would be available as “Playlists” created by fellow SDC VR-ers. Premium and “Freemium” experiences would be available, based on quality/immersiveness, and your willingness to have “ads” appear.
The Vehicle for public service…
Taxi rides could be free – but you’d have to put up with advertising of course. the number of ads reflecting the length of journey, time of day, demands on the service etc. for example at peak times you may have to submit to a detour or visit to one of the advertisers premises for a free sample of Aunt Molly’s Delicious Home Made Bathtub Ice Cream product (TM). All advertising would, of course, be based on detailed Analytics of you, the consumer.
Now to the elephant in the Car – sorry – Room. Porn. Yes, I’ve said it. we need to consider use/abuse of this immersive experience. Teenage boys would now not be reluctant to go to the shops for milk for mom. They would return, red-faced and spent – having deleted all records of their Immersive experience. It could be a fantastic environment for “Courting Couples”, culminating in the car recommending a drive to Vegas, or Gretna Green via a wedding shop, should things go well..
SDC vs STD
If you’re single, you could, of course, download “Tinder – SDC edition”: You would be presented with 3D images of local potential love interest, swiping left and right as appropriate. Wow he/she/it looks hot! The SDC knows all about your love interest, their location, likes and dislikes, health (no STD’s) and strongly suggests you visit a tattoo parlour, buy a cool black jacket, pick up a specific bottle of wine and hey presto – you’re set. Drinking and driving wouldn’t be a problem of course, provided you’d selected the “no human intervention” option.
HP, Linux, Apple, Yahoo, Walmart cars?
Imagine brands like these adding their unique spin on their version of an SDC.
HP’s would have “invent” inscribed on it, would probably require expensive proprietary consumables, and have a remote and inaccessible call centre should things go wrong. it would also exhibit alarming tendancies to split in two at unexpected intervals.
Linux would be a collaborative environment. it would appear somewhat “unfinished” in experience, but you’d benefit from the knowledge that your SDC was based on the best principles of collaborative design.
Apples would have a beautiful, handcrafted feel. you’d have to upgrade every year of course.
Walmart would be a lively, chaotic experience. All human life would be represented here, and there’d be a gun rack behind you. Sweatpant malls would be a frequent shopping recommendation in the ad content.
Tesco would flip-flop in design from huge mega cars, to tiny locally sourced vehicles.
Starbucks would recognise visits to their outlets with special offers and rewards experiences. Also for bringing a new customer to the store…
Yahoo, AOL, AskJeeves SDC’s would be tatty attempts with little functionality, typically driven by older members of the SDC community.
Now it gets a bit darker:
Imagine, in your jungle experience, that your health monitor detects you are hungry: gradually, through the mists, appearing in a clearing is a tribe of indigenous people enjoying a campfire with a selection of delicious-smelling roast BBQ meats. Remember, you can hear their happy conversational burble, smell the food and feel the warmth of that campfire on your face. How convenient, that the SDC happens to know that “Joes Patagonian Burger bar” is just around the corner from you, and that they happen to have a special deal on, just for you?? You’ve even ordered ahead, thanks to the SDC’s interactive Input/output and “always on” capabilities!
Could the array of sensors – inward and outward facing – be used for third-party purposes? for example, facial recognition detects a known criminal and police services are notified. Or more extreme, an Uber-programme (if you’ll pardon the pun) is invoked and the car immediately leaps to “active” mode, orchestrating a number of google SDC’s to “corral” the suspect.
What about hackers? could they suborne control, and force you on a joyride, or over a cliff? ISIS? imagine if they controlled the door mechanism?
I need photos, graphics, artwork, based on some or all of the stupid ideas presented in this blog. send me your art, and give me permission to incorporate it..
The next ten years are shaping up to be very exciting!