On the face of it, you would probably think that virtual reality should be the last thing integrated into a car. After all, driving is a very physical experience with all-too-real joys and dangers. There is nothing virtual about it. That is true, but car makers have developed a taste for virtual reality lately, and they are putting it to some interesting uses in their latest concepts.
This phenomenon can be seen most clearly at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. As you know, the Consumer Electronics Show is the Mecca for everything techie and gadgety, and anything that pops in this event will soon be turned into a product with real-life applications. So the automotive-related virtual reality technologies we’re going to tell you about could very soon appear on the options list. There are two VR systems unveiled so far at CES 2019 which have caught our eyes, one is the Invisible-to-Visible by Nissan, and the other a special version of the Audi e-tron which can turn every journey into a psychedelic trip!
Nissan’s Virtual Reality tech is called Invisible-to-Visible and it has fairly remarkable advantages as far driving safety is concerned. It is a new extension to the whole concept of connected car which enables the driver to see the invisible, as it were, by merging the real and virtual worlds. Metaverse is word Nissan has invented for this system, in which reality is essentially mixed. There is the part that you perceive with your senses, and then there is the ‘concealed’ parts recognized by the omni-sense radars and sensors and cameras and AI software. It’s obvious what this is, isn’t it? It is the beginning of humans gaining superpowers. It is enhancing your natural senses through the use of machine and computer. It is the first step in turning humans into cyborgs.
What Audi has to present at CES 2019 is a bit less serious and a lot ore fun. The Audi e-tron virtual reality concept focuses on the rear passengers and how to make the journey more tolerable for them. According to Audi, it’s a technology that adapts virtual content of your choice to the movements of the car in real time. The way it works is actually simple in principle. You are in the back of the family e-tron and find the route your dad is taking particularly boring. So you just pop on a set of VR glasses and boom, you are in a completely different world. It changes the roads, people, and everything else in it, and the cool thing is you can choose the scene and theme and everything. I think you have already guessed where this is headed. How long before men use it for porn?
These virtual reality stuff are cool when they are focused on fun and games, and potentially life-saving when they are employed in the service of safety. But the fact remains they make us ever-more dependent on technology and gadgets and devices, robbing us of the sharpness of mind that relying on our our senses can get us. Is that good? Is that bad? Only time will tell.