Uber looks to VR to make your morning commute a little more interesting.
As Uber continues its revolutionary campaign to bring a fleet of autonomous self-driving vehicles to its customers, a large portion of the population are left wondering just exactly how safe this driver-less form of transportation is.
However, when it comes to us more forward-thinking travelers we only have one question on our collective minds: Just how exactly are we to spend our new found free time? Thankfully Uber is here with a potential solution to commuting boredom.
According to two patents filed in 2016, the San Fransisco-based ride sharing network is working on various applications which could provide VR entertainment for Uber passengers to enjoy during their hands-free trip. Revealed in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in February, the potential ‘Virtual Reality Experience For a Vehicle’ program would incorporate immersive VR technology synced somewhat with the motion of the self-driving vehicle.
“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 applications states.
It’s unclear exactly which VR experiences would be incorporated into the ride, though Uber is hopeful the technology could be used to not only distract passengers, but help point out valuable information to tourists.
Of course there has been plenty of skepticism as to the exact degree of safety that comes with isolating oneself in a VR while in a moving vehicle. On of the biggest concerns involves motion sickness as a result of lag between the real and virtual motion. Uber claims to have a solid solution to the issue, though they’ve yet to reveal any details. Others are worried about the possibility of stolen property. What’s stopping a fellow passenger from stealing your belongings while you’re immersed? Uber also claims to have this all figured out as well:
“A rider would be able to see a representation of other passengers to avoid colliding with them or to monitor if another passenger is accessing their personal belongings,” the application continues.
And of course there are those claiming VR could result in lost social connections by shutting ourselves off from the rest of the world. But lets be honest, how many life-changing conversations would you really miss in a conversation during a 20 minute Uber ride?
With Uber currently testing out it’s self-driving semi trucks in Arizona, the San Fransisco-based company is well on its way to bringing driverless transportation across the U.S. What do you think? Is this an incredibly cool peak into the future or a nasty preview into our potential downfall as a race? I’m going with option A.