If you thought that autonomous cars—cars that drive themselves—were about as high tech as the car industry was going to get, think again: in the future, cars will not only drive you through a winery as you sip on Chardonnay, but serve as your tour guide, too! It puts you in mind of the way your bed became your office cum entertainment center, once the laptop was invented. In the case of cars giving tours, it’s all about artificial intelligence (AI).
Yes, drinking and driving will be a (legal and safe) reality, not too far into the future. Philip van Allen—design consultant, researcher, technologist and educator, as well as a professor in the Media Design Practices MFA program at the Art Center College of design in Pasadena— says we can expect to avail ourselves of such cars by approximately 2022. That’s because AI is already in place as a technology used in the car industry. There’s no reason you can’t use your car, for instance, to see a 360-degree view of a vineyard as you’re driving through.
Vineyards can take advantage of such technology to market their wares, using self-driving cars to offer a spiel as guests take a leisurely tour. Imagine your car telling you to look out your window to the right to see Cabernet grapes, on your left to see Merlot!
Such cars might also show you images of foods you might pair with the wines produced by the winery, or make local restaurant suggestions where tourists might sample these items washed down by the winery’s wine, of course. Finally, says Allen, autonomous cars could be used to drop wine orders at hotels in wine country.
Just imagine: a car that helps you drink!
While you’re doing all that driving and drinking, you may want a little light music as accompaniment. Might we suggest the following as most appropriate?