Volvo recently showed off a concept that previewed the interior of the future, a future where cars will be capable of driving themselves without any human intervention. To spend the time that normally would be spent on driving, the driver can simply sit back and watch a movie, catch up on some work or chat with friends or relatives over the Internet.

All those tasks will require bandwith. That is why Volvo has teamed up with Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson to develop intelligent, high-bandwidth streaming capabilities for its future autonomous cars. Volvo announced the new partnership at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Volvo and Ericsson believe that the proliferation of autonomous cars will result in an increased need for consistent and high-bandwidth coverage outside densely populated areas such as city centers and suburbs. And the bandwidth also needs to be consistent at the higher speeds experienced on highways.

The solution? Learning and predicting routes so that content can be tailored to the duration of each trip and intelligently buffered to deliver uninterrupted viewing. For example, by learning the most common routes and times of travel, and understanding media preferences, content can be buffered ahead of time. The occupants can than choose routes and select content tailored to the amount of time that is available during the commute.

Even without fully autonomous cars being a reality for some time, the technology could still prove handy for those long road trips to keep passengers entertained, or perhaps distracted so you can enjoy driving your beast in peace and harmony.

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