Why you'll soon be able to keep up with 'Corrie' in your car
A future at the wheel
Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30
So you are sitting in your car with nothing to do - because your vehicle is driving itself. What do you do? Twiddle your thumbs or watch Coronation Street?
Car makers are already looking ahead to the whole area of so-called driver activity - when they are idle.
Volvo this week outlined what you could be doing as you sit back and enjoy free time on your daily commute. It is developing 'intelligent', high-bandwidth streaming capabilities with Ericsson.
So the following scenario is quite likely to unfold. There you will be sitting in your car as part of an entourage of autonomous motors and you, like the others, are sitting back watching your favourite TV shows - in high definition.
However, until that can become a reality, a lot of non-automotive work has to be done.
It requires new technology and a much broader bandwidth to make sure you don't end up with interruptions and pauses to your favourite soap opera.
Volvo says that by "predicting your route and looking ahead at network conditions, content can be tailored to the duration of each trip and intelligently buffered" so you get a consistent high-quality level of viewing.
It's research shows that almost 70pc of all mobile data traffic will be from video in the coming years. That is an extraordinary figure.
According to Claes Herlitz, head of automotive services at Ericsson, the challenge will be to come up with connectivity, cloud and analytics solutions so that myriad vehicles on the move can be served with the sort of high-quality, uninterrupted video service we are accustomed to at home.
Anders Tylman, general manager Volvo monitoring and concept center at Volvo Car Group says: "By learning the most common routes and times of travel, and understanding media preferences, future Volvo cars will be able to provide one-click navigation and a customised preference-based list of potential media."
That would allow passengers to choose routes and select the entertainment that would dovetail with the level of autonomous- driving time they'd have during their commute.