The UK’s lorry drivers have this week found themselves a subject of much sympathy. On Thursday, the government announcement of £8.1m in funding for semi-automated truck trials in an attempt to reduce congestion and benefit the environment.
The state’s endorsement of self-driving lorries – which will travel on British motorways from next year – has in many ways flipped the egg timer on secure employment for truck drivers as they know it. However, these drivers are by no means the only affected party from the global shift towards autonomous vehicles.
Death of the Drive-Time DJ
Fat Lama has previously analysed the average earnings of DJs from all tiers of the industry. Whilst a lucky few enjoy a life of extravagance, the picture for most is modest. If radio DJs in particular aren’t already feeling the pinch from the rise of streaming services, then driverless cars have the capacity to really stick the boot in. Why? When our drivers are no longer constrained to listening as they ride, they will be able to watch video and play games.
WIRED’s Gregor Pyror believes that in the future, “the line between driver, passenger and audience will be blurred beyond recognition […] Drivers could be speeding round the Nürburgring in Gran Turismo or throwing blue shells in Mario Kart, all while being driven around by a computer.”
Ford have patented an “autonomous vehicle entertainment system” which sort of replaces the windscreen with a projector screen. Needless to say, long drives will feel a whole lot quicker in the future.
Radio Advertising? Try Geo-Specific Augmented Reality Promotion
In the future, we’re unlikely to listen to the wireless as we drive. But don’t think that’s the end of being sold to as we travel. On the contrary, the development of an in-car media centre will provide many more opportunities for advertisers to get creative, quickly leaving audio-only radio ads as a rare thing of the past.
Gregor Pryor foresees a world in which, when a passenger looks outside the window, the car will respond to the movement by displaying targeted, QR-coded, augmented reality promotions on advertising boards. Welcome to the future.