The Push for Driverless Cars to be Home-Like Spaces

There does not seem anything really warm and inviting about driverless cars. However, some of the people developing the technology apparently want these cars to become extensions of our homes. Places where we can have conversations with travel companions, eat a meal, and even play videogames in. Okay, I know you can do most of these in the car already, but the idea is it will feel more like a living room and less like, well, a car.

In an interview with Inverse, Kota Kobayashi says "People don't actually do that much on planes...It came down to these three things: relaxation, entertainment, and productivity." And that is what Kobyashi expects out of self-driving cars. He follows up with, "Inside a car is a quite private, intimate space, which is different from the public space of an airplane,” said Kobayashi. “A very good example of intimacy is having sex. Most people aren’t going to do that in a public space.”

Okay, it's getting a bit strange. But - he is making a point. Fully driverless cars won't just offer us convenience, but they'll become extensions of home, office, or even coffee shop. 

Oh, and did I mention he doesn't expect cars to be a one-size fit all automobile. What do I mean by this? Well, there is the idea that there will be different 'kinds' of cars to purchase, and not the typical binaries of small vs big, luxury vs affordable, and red vs blue. Instead, there is the idea that, eventually, there will be sleeping cars, meeting cars, and even family-friendly cars. 

So, although most people see driverless cars as a breakdown of communication (no more friendly banter with uber drivers, happy chats on the way to work with a carpool group, etc) many who support the technology believe that they will be intimate and comfortable spaces where we can further engage as we would at the home, office, or other social spaces. 

The above image is of Google's in-house riverless car and is liscensed under cc by-sa 4.0