Uber is looking to bring VR to the world of driverless cars, so that commuters can immerse themselves in virtual experiences on their daily commutes.
According to Motherboard, the company filed two patents in August 2016 relating to VR experiences for vehicles. The patents have been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office
The applications say:
“Most people travel the same routes at the same times of day over and over again and are interested in using their travel time for something other than looking at whatever is currently visible out of the vehicle’s windows.”
The solution to this dilemma is to use a self-driving car’s sensor to produce unique virtual experiences for commuters.
An example of the kind of experience that Uber is thinking of is an action game that is somehow synchronised to the movement of the vehicle itself. Another proposed application of the technology would be guided and annotated sight-seeing tours for tourists.
Commuters could also use the technology to do more mundane, regular activities like check their emails or watch the news.
The application does not make clear whether the company thinks that these experiences will be based around VR headsets, smart glasses or some other kind of immersive technology.
The application does state that commuters travelling in groups would be able to see a representation of other passengers so that they don’t hit them in the face with their failing limbs. The patent does not state whether groups of passengers would be able to interact in a shared experience or everyone would plug into their own, solo experience in true dystopian style.