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article imageGaming technology introduced for autonomous vehicles

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2020 in Technology
Autonomous vehicles offer new opportunities for leisure. One area that is being pioneered is a form of gaming, whereby the occupant of one autonomous vehicle can challenge an occupant of another vehicle, making the journey pass faster.
Canadian computer technologists have constructed a multiplayer game for people riding in autonomous vehicles to play against people who of travelling in other self-driving cars that are within range.
These games have been developed for level three and higher semi-autonomous vehicles. Level 3 autonomous vehicles are self-driving cars that are considered completely autonomous. These are generally referred to as "eyes-off" vehicles, permitting the driver to sit back and relax as the car takes care of everything while driving along the road .
The three games produced so-far lay down the foundations for a new generation of in-car gaming.
According to lead researcher Matthew Lakier, of the University of Waterloo: “As autonomous vehicles start to replace conventional vehicles, occupants will have much more free time than they used to.”
While people can spend the time talking to others or reading, there are also opportunities for gaming, as Lakier goes on to explain: “You will be able to play games with other people in autonomous vehicles nearby when the car is driving itself. The games will be imposed on top of the actual world, so drivers won't have to take their eyes off the road.”
The development in gaming have been made possible through the development of intelligent technologies, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. The primary reason of V2V technology is to enable cars to transmit information relative to each other on the road as a safety feature. Other types of data that can exchanged includes information pertaining to road conditions.
V2V technology also allows games to be played between two or more vehicles. In coming up with the three games, the technologists surveyed people as to what might be the most popular cross-car games.
The games make use of virtual reality technology driving simulator. An initial study using twelve players drew out a positive response. According to Laiker: “"People were happy to play with strangers. So, for example, they said they could form impromptu relationships with other people on the road."
The research study is titled “Cross-Car, Multiplayer Games for Semi-Autonomous Driving” and it was recently presented to the CHI-PLAY conference.
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