Cross-Car, Multiplayer Games for Semi-Autonomous Driving

Matthew Lakier, University of Waterloo,
Lennart E. Nacke, University of Waterloo,
Takeo Igarashi, The University of Tokyo,
Daniel Vogel, University of Waterloo

Gustavo Tondello
Oct 1 · 2 min read
Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

Imagine yourself five years into the future, in a state-of-the-art self-driving car. This car can drive itself in traffic jams and on the highway, only requiring you to take control now and then. Your self-driving car has many intelligent technologies that help to keep it safe: V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication enables cars to let each other know where they are relative to each other on the road. HUDs (heads-up displays) on the windshield can keep the driver aware of the car’s speed and road conditions.

Now the big question is… what do you do while your car is driving itself?

Well, you could read a book, watch a movie, get ahead on your work, or browse the internet. Or, you could play games, in a gaming environment like no other, where you are often surrounded by strangers (though sometimes familiar), temporarily trapped inside a vessel of your own (sometimes with friends and family), and passing through a variety of different environments.

We explored what we call “cross-car games”, games that people can play in a car with other players in nearby cars. We imagine that cars will have full-window HUDs, enabling players to do things like throw virtual balls at each other in a game of “Killerball”, play “Billiards” where players have to collaborate to maximize their scores, or add virtual “Decorations” to their cars that can be seen and judged by other players.

We also investigated and characterized a design space for all in-car games, cross-car or otherwise. We suggest many exciting types of in-car games for future exploration, such as games involving teams and games that directly use features of the traffic or road environment to enhance gameplay.

We’re excited to see what kinds of games are made possible by new vehicle technologies. What kinds of games would you want to play in a car?

Contact author: Matthew Lakier

CHI PLAY session:
Beyond the Stereotypical
Friday, 25 October 2019, 9:00–10:30

Please feel free to also write comments or questions for the authors in the space below!


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Gustavo Tondello

Written by

Instructional support coordinator, University of Waterloo. Researcher, HCI Games Group. Logosophy student.



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