The Future

Cars of the Future Will Be Able to Buy Your Coffee for You

Thanks, Herbie.
Thanks, Herbie. Photo: Ann Manner

In the “next few years,” you can have a driver-less car whisk you to the nearest coffee shop drive-through, where your order has been memorized: Smart cars will soon use location data to act as personal coddlers on wheels. BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, and Mercedes have joint ownership of HERE, a fancy Google Maps competitor created by Nokia.

The idea is that internet-connected cars will couple “predictive software” with “mobile-payment systems” in order to put coffee or a burger in your (steering wheel–free, thankfully) hands before you hardly realize you need it. If the consequences of this sound a bit terrifying, well, that’s probably because they should. For instance: “If a driver gets hungry and McDonald’s Corp. can track that and respond, ‘People would be directed to McDonald’s instead of another fast-food restaurant,’” Bloomberg quotes an industry insider explaining. In other words, it’s sort of like McDonald’s new Snapchat filters, only this is for the car instead of an app, and it affects your destination, not the iPhone screen.

Just last week, a Google car cut off another self-driving car, proving they’re already becoming entitled, lazy jerks, like the rest of us.


Cars of the Future Will Be Able to Buy Your Coffee for You