Jaguar and Aston Martin, makers of Britain’s two top performance cars, have recently jumped on the cars-that-think bandwagon, with Jaguar touting virtual reality see-through pillars and posts, and Aston Martin signing a deal for self-driving technology.
Both brands will be showcased in “Spectre,” the next movie in the James Bond franchise, although it’s not yet clear just how much of the cognitative gadgetry will be shown. But if I were the director, I’d put in a bit of safety-first stuff just for laughs, the way Steven Spielberg did in “Jurassic Park,” when he let a panicked driver see a charging tyrannosaur through a rear-view mirror emblazoned with the words, “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” (That idea was itself stolen from a Gary Larson cartoon.)
How about this scenario: the villain takes his hand off the wheel, the better to shoot at Bond, and his car complains: “driver must keep hands on the wheel.” Bad guy touches wheel, returns to shooting, and the process repeats itself. Finally, the car automatically parks and begins a lecture on the dangers of distracted driving. Mid-lecture, the car blows up.
Here’s a teaser from “Spectre,” filmed at night on the streets of Rome itself:
Philip E. Ross is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. His interests include transportation, energy storage, AI, and the economic aspects of technology. He has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University and another, in journalism, from the University of Michigan.