Bentley’s New Mulsanne: Air Force One for the Mobile Road Warrior
Most commuters who need to get a little work done behind the wheel can get by on a smartphone, a headset, and a cup of coffee. Those with an extra $300,000 or so these days can get a serious upgrade from Bentley — with a plush, multi-screen, fully connected, 500-horesepower mobile office. (But good luck writing it off as a business expense.)
Bentley recently introduced the Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept, a car decked out with two iPads and keyboards built into backseat tray tables, built-in mobile Wi-Fi, a 15.6-inch high-definition TV screen backed by an onboard hard drive and Mac computer, and two smaller screens nestled into the front seat headrests.
You’d probably need a chauffeur to really maximize the work capabilities of this car, but if you’ve got one, “traffic can no longer come between you and productivity. The Mulsanne concept is your own personal Air Force One. It’s also the absolutely logical conclusion of the convergence of our mobile devices and mobile transportation units,” says Mashable’s Seth Porges.
Indeed, the average American spends more than 50 minutes a day commuting to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And Bentley isn’t the only carmaker trying to turn those commutes into computing time.
Ford just announced that its own in-vehicle connectivity program, Sync, has been installed in 5 million vehicles, allowing drivers to integrate their smartphones with their car’s control board. Sync also includes some voice-enabled commands (like Siri in your car). “With more than 1 billion smartphones now in service around the world, we expect mobile connectivity will continue to be the foundational element of our strategy going forward,” said Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas. The future of Sync includes cloud connectivity.
And Google just celebrated 3,000 accident-free miles with its first autonomous car, which takes “computing to work” to a whole new level. These driverless, automated cars allow employees to work in their cars without worrying about keeping their eyes on the road. InformationWeek recently reported that the car can now legally operate on California’s public roads.
Image via Bentley.