With some surveys finding the average American spending close to an hour per day behind the wheel of their car, the looming autonomous vehicle (AV) disruption is causing some to ask, what will people do with all this extra free time? Intel and Warner Bros. are already on the job, announcing a new partnership to develop what they are calling "in-cabin immersive experiences" designed to keep you entertained while you are being chauffeured around in your autonomous car.

A recently published editorial from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich suggests that the oncoming shift to autonomous cars, "will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment we've seen in a long time."

And it's no surprise to see companies already clamoring to create content to vie for your attention. As well as offering an entirely new space for consumption of traditional television and film content, Intel sees some pretty untraditional possibilities for novel kinds of in-cabin entertainment.

Citing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) innovations, Krzanich envisages a world where a trip in a driverless car could become something akin to a theme-park ride.

"For example, a fan of the superhero Batman could enjoy riding in the Batmobile through the streets of Gotham City, while AR capabilities render the car a literal lens to the outside world, enabling passengers to view advertising and other discovery experiences," writes Krzanich.

If Krzanich's casual mention of "advertising" opportunities raises some red flags for you then that's understandable. It's not hard to picture a future full of autonomous carsharing services that charge a premium for "ad-free" rides.

Intel is calling this new proposal the AV Entertainment Experience, and plans to create a proof of concept car in the near future. Earlier in 2017, Intel announced its move into the AV market with plans to build a fleet of 100 test cars, and this latest announcement signals the company is serious about gaining an early foothold this burgeoning market.

What was previously a personal and private space is all set to become a connected environment filled with commercial brand interests all vying for your attention. Want to look out the window in silence on your autonomous commute to work? You may have to pay extra for that.

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