A round of “Grand Theft Auto” on a country road? On the hunt with “Call of Duty” on the motorway? Why not – in the future. At present, computer games are banned for the driver, with good reason. But it does not have to stay that way if automotive supplier Continental is to be believed. That is why it was even a guest at a congress held during the games fair Gamescom in summer 2016.

If the car turns from a vehicle into living space, at the latest when fully autonomous driving comes in, the question is what the driver is going to do in this space: read, eat, sleep – or even play? Automated driving, the experts agree, will not arrive in a single big leap but in numerous small steps. And computer games could be an ideal option as a so-called secondary task, especially in this transitional phase.

© Continental
© Continental

“In the interim stages between highly and fully automated driving, games elements will play a central role in the dialogue between driver and vehicle”, explains Alexander Klotz, Research & Development Manager at Continental. Games would not only be able to keep drivers entertained and relaxed, they could also keep them from occupying themselves with other mobile devices.

Increased attention

And Klotz is thinking further ahead: “In phases where their car is driving autonomously, games can involve drivers and help them to take over the driving duties again.” By comparison with simply monitoring a semi-autonomous system, playing games in the car increases the level of activity and attention – and with it the chances that they will take over the driving duties successfully and therefore safely.

© Continental
© Continental

Many technical aspects are under discussion when it comes to the path to fully autonomous driving. The human factor is perhaps sometimes underestimated. “The question of how we can keep the driver’s attention, will occupy the car industry for a long time still”, Alexander Klotz states with conviction.

Source: Driving news