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Ford hopes you'll watch movies in self-driving cars

A new patent would put a video projector in your vehicle.

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If and when self-driving cars become a practical reality, you'll probably want something to do during your journeys besides chatting with passengers or checking your phone. Thankfully, Ford might have an answer. It recently obtained a patent for an "autonomous vehicle entertainment system" that would let you watch videos when you're hands-free. Kick your vehicle into self-driving mode and a projector system could swing into action, complete with its own screen -- yes, you could watch a movie while you're on the way to visit family. Think of it as in-flight entertainment, just grounded.

As with most patents, there's no certainty that Ford will ever use this. While the car maker is serious about autonomous vehicles, it could just as easily resort to flat-panel displays and other less dramatic hardware. There are some safety concerns, too. Do you really want the driver to be completely oblivious to road hazards? For this to work, driverless car tech will have to advance to the point where it's truly reliable -- where you can watch a 2-hour flick without worrying that your car might plow into a bus.

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