The cinema of the future could be parked in your garage as the impending onslaught of autonomous vehicles will transform how people are entertained during their commute.
While vehicles have drastically changed over the decades, our entertainment options have lagged behind. Sure 8-track players gave way to the cassette tape and the latter was replaced by the CD player, but a lot of automotive entertainment is still provided by the radio nearly 90 years after Motorola popularized the technology.
This isn’t too surprising as drivers need to focus on driving so their entertainment options have basically been limited to audio sources. Of course, autonomous vehicles are primed to change everything as commuters will no longer have to focus on driving and will instead have time for leisure activities. This could be a boon for the movie industry as the Hollywood Reporter noted a 2016 Ernst & Young report suggested in-car streaming could eventually be worth as much as $20 (€16.7) billion annually.
In an interview with the publication, Paramount Pictures’ Ted Schilowitz explained “If you look at the windshield and windows, they are ‘screens’ at the right distance to be entertainment portals. Can the windshield be the movie screen of tomorrow?”
Upcoming broadcast standards could also have a big impact on autonomous vehicle entertainment as ATSC 3.0 will combine traditional over-the-air signals with internet connectivity which can be used to deliver video-on-demand content. This could pave the way for the morning commute to the perfect time to catch up on last night’s big game or your favorite TV series.