A BMW X5 outfitted by Intel and Warner Bros. offers passengers a taste of what’s to come in automotive entertainment in autonomous vehicles, including an immersive comic book viewing experience. The vehicle is on display at CES 2019 from Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)

The entertainment industries are very interested in a future of autonomous (self-driving) cars, because if we’re not driving our cars, that may free us up for other kinds of entertainment experience beyond audio. Music, TV/film and games companies alike are keen to understand the opportunities this may bring. If you’re thinking about this from a music perspective, a demo shown at the CES show by Intel and Warner Bros this week is worth a look.

The demo is of a concept car with a big-screen TV, projectors, mobile devices, sensory and haptic feedback and immersive audio and lighting, plus a virtual ‘ride’ experience based on Batman. That includes Gotham City being projected on the windows; a virtual Alfred (Batman’s butler) driving the car and even warning about (real) traffic jams ahead; a comic-book story presented across the cabin; and a film-trailer-viewing feature that also shows nearby cinemas and helps passengers buy tickets.

It’s very much a concept demo designed to spark ideas and debate, rather than being your next actual car. But it’s a useful starting point to think about what kinds of in-car experiences might be possible around artists and music in the future, if some of this technology becomes mainstream.

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