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Uber envisions Virtual Reality in Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology offers the possibility of changing transportation. Equipping cars and vehicles with this technology will likely reduce crashes, energy consumption, pollution and reduce the costs of congestion. Many major car manufacturers and several technology firms, such as Google and Uber Technologies Inc., have announced the commercial production of high quality Virtual reality experience for automated vehicles.

Uber’s latest Patent Application titled “Virtual reality experience for a vehicle” discloses a Virtual Reality (VR) system that provides Autonomous Vehicle (AV) sensor data to applications such as games and augmented reality to enhance experiences for customers/riders in the autonomous/robotic vehicle during their rides.

Virtual reality headsets in AV offer its users a unique and interesting experience. Also when used in a different environment such as a moving vehicle, external stimuli can impair the virtual reality experience. AV sensors can predict these stimuli so that applications can take measures to reduce their impacts on virtual reality headsets. Sensors can be cameras that send live video feeds to virtual reality headsets to provide improved views of the environment around the AV and of landmarks in a city/place. Moreover, virtual reality devices can take advantage of the AV’s computing resources in order to offer better performance and more features to its users such as advertisements, latest offers, etc.

Any rider or customer can wear a head-mounted device or VR which is provided with enhanced 360 degree video, sound, and 3D volumetric data for entertainment, gaming, communications, news or improved views of the local area around the vehicle and other local areas well-suited with the vehicle’s current location.

It is predicted that augmented reality applications will increase self driving vehicles road safety and may also help in the change towards automated driving vehicles.

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