It may seem like every discussion on the future of the car focuses on driverless vehicles and alternative fuel sources, but current vehicle advances affect more than just functionality. Much headway has been made in the realm of driver comfort, too. From touchscreen dashboards to heated steering wheels, driver amenities have come a long away.
Soon enough, many of these driver comforts will find their way to the back seat. Here are five cutting-edge passenger amenities and some predictions for how they’ll make traveling more enjoyable than ever.
Seats That Give Massages
Most people have experienced heated seats, but how about seats that can give massages? Some of Mercedes-Benz’s latest S-Class cars come equipped with seats that allow riders to choose from six different massage modes.
At the rate technology moves, it won’t be long before passengers can climb into the back seat of a chauffeur’s vehicle and get a relaxing massage while on the way to the hotel.
Cars That Double as Wi-Fi Hotspots
Some cars can already connect to 4G networks, and a rare few even have Wi-Fi capabilities. Experts predict that soon every car on the road will double as a Wi-Fi hotpot, broadcasting crystal clear Internet to the passengers on board. No more worrying about whether a smartphone will have internet connectivity: when the car itself is a hotspot, passengers can check their email, Tweet about their ride, and browse their favorite websites no matter where they are.
Fully Functional Digital Dashboards for Passengers
Many cars today feature touchscreen dashboards that resemble iPads. Soon, passengers will have access to a similar—and possibly even more impressive—version of this same technology.
The company GEElab is working on a project that would bring digital dashboards to the back seat in the form of holographic motion-sensor displays. These displays will act as media control centers for passengers, who will be able to control the vehicle’s sound system, adjust the climate, and even play video games through the dashboard.
Yes, some cars do already come equipped with apps, but they’re all confined to the driver’s dashboard. Once companies like GEElab bring high-tech media systems to the back seat, passengers will have access to a world of in-vehicle apps.
The best part? Many experts predict the existence of area-specific apps that passengers could use to learn about the cities they are visiting. A passenger new to Philadelphia, for example, could hop into the back of a chauffeur’s car and learn all about the best restaurants and attractions before even arriving at the hotel.
Augmented Reality Windows
BMW is experimenting with augmented reality windshields that display vital information to drivers, and once those become standard, passengers could potentially look forward to their own augmented reality windows in the backseat. Imagine, for example, driving past an interesting landmark and being able to ‘tap’ it on the window and bring up a webpage with a wealth of information about that landmark.
The automobile’s future is a bright one, and high-tech amenities are not just for drivers anymore. One day soon, passengers will have the world at their fingertips—and they won’t even have to leave the back seat.