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Cinema Cars Foreshadow What Future AVs Will Look Like

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Photo: Hertz UK

As automated vehicle (AV) technology progresses, cars might one day function like mobile living rooms. The industry just got one step closer to that reality, with the “cinema cars” that Hertz has introduced.

The company revamped six minivans into compact movie theaters, drawing on art deco-inspired decor for the interior renovation. A crew took out the middle-row seats, reupholstered the back seat in red velvet material and installed a giant 50-inch screen replete with automated curtains reminiscent of vintage movie theaters. Timber armrests with cup holders as well as golden shell uplights lend an ambient vibe to the cinema car.

The video portraying the minivan depicts a vintage movie theater setting, complete with rich red velvet upholstery and curtains, as well as a vintage stage. The background music sets the tone with a lush jazzy soundtrack reminiscent of the late 1920s. The movie theater attendant carries on the red motif with her lipstick and attire, as she prepares the drinks and popcorn for the customers. The camera lens then zeros in on the roof sign of the cinema car which states “Hertz presents the world’s first cinema car featuring free ‘go anywhere’ Wi-Fi.”

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The clip then transitions to the interior of the vehicle, the minivan’s built-in theater space, where two kids are viewing a film as they enjoy snacks and drinks. The music abruptly shifts to a more modern, upbeat soundtrack interspersed with sound effects from the movie the passengers are watching.

While the Hertz cinema cars were intended as novel rental vehicles that consumers could book for personal use, it foreshadows the direction that AVs are gradually moving toward. As self-driving vehicle technology continues to advance, it will free up the interior space of the vehicle for non-driving functions such as reading, playing games, and viewing movies. Though, perhaps by the time that vehicles do become portable living rooms, we’ll finally be able to come up with a more concise name for them (“portable living rooms” is a bit long…).

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News Sources: TreeHugger, Hertz