While they tried to make the Tesla Model S in the video look as generic as possible, its shape and large infotainment display is easily recognized, and its clear the display is the main reason they choose this car. Bosch’s vision of autonomy is one of shared responsibility, demonstrated as Phillip, the video’s everyman, takes a journey to the airport.
In the same way that our phones have the ability to recognize our frequently traveled destinations, an autonomous car will remember this as well, allowing for quick plotting of a navigation route. It then displays sections along the drive where autonomous driving is available, like on highway stretches.
When entering these sections, drivers can opt to enter an autonomous mode by pressing on steering wheel indicators with both hands for three seconds. This addresses how the switch from one mode to the next will avoid being accidental. Several lights and indicators will make it clear what mode the car is in, as well as when the drive route requires human attention.
In auto-pilot, this when then the display screen plays a significant part in Bosch’s vision. The extra real estate allows for a split-screen function where the map and critical drive info is displayed while the driver is free to email, watch videos, or text en route to his destination.
The car will also prompt the driver when certain overtaking maneuvers are available. Drivers can then give the car the ok to proceed, and even “rate” the action so that the vehicle learns the driver’s preference. This is quite clever since some people would prefer the slower yet smoother drive, while others would want the car to be as aggressive as possible.
At the end of the automated driving stretch, the car will start prompting the driver that they’ll need to get their hands back on the wheel soon. As the car closes in further, warning indicators will change color to indicate the immediacy required by the driver. If no response is given, the car then finds a place on the shoulder to safely pull off.
From what Bosch proposes, it seems like a fairly reasonable expectation of how livable the technology will be in the future. It’s not the end of driving for those who want do to it, nor is it some dubious promise of a car’s amazing ability to do everything. This just shows us how tech will safely cut out the boring parts of a drive, and that’s just fine with us.