To USB or Not to USB


USB, Autonomous Cars and Happiness

USB, Autonomous Cars and Happiness

So it turns out, the one thing that can make you happier is to shorten your commute. There’s actual, scientific evidence of this.



In turns out there are 33 companies working on Autonomous Vehicles.

I think of these companies as being in the happiness business.


Other benefits, as the population ages, people with money can maintain their independence. We have more safe drivers and it becomes easier to “take away” drivers licenses from older folks.   So it’s win-win, except the elderly won’t have Uber/Lyft drivers to talk to.


So what will you do with your time?

  1. Entertain
  2. Inform
  3. Work

Almost certainly you will be sitting in your car with a laptop or tablet AND a phone, that will be charged using USB Type-C and Power Delivery.

What else will be in that car?

Here’s my guess:

A 32 inch screen in Personal Cars with some sort of wireless keyboard (retracting) and touch screen. The Screen will have a USB host so you can plug in your personal device, and use all the confidential and personal stuff in it, on the big screen.  The touch screen will be enabled with some sort of Synaptics type touch capability which uses USB also.

If it’s a rental car or ride-sharing car (Uber/Lyft) then it would use a wired USB keyboard so you don’t walk away with the keyboard.

The USB ports will enable you to connect into the car’s audio/video system so you can stream your video and music through the car’s excellent sound and audio system. It’s possible this will be wireless, but since USB Type-C and DP will be part of that implementation, you will want to be charging your phone/tablet/PC while in the vehicle.  Also, it will be easier than using WiFi unless every car has some sort of Apple/Google hardware and App.


USB’s audio and mass storage standards make it super easy to display and play your content on these devices. This means (in theory), you don’t even need to have special ap to work with your phone, tablet, or laptop.

The Car will have some sort of LTE or LTE-Advanced modem built-in, my guess is at least 2 independent links. One will be super secure for communication with the car’s servers in the cloud.  Security for these cars will likely dictate a second VPN, proprietary, secure, something network that should not be hackable.  It will be super expensive at first, but necessary to keep, for example, a bunch of Russian hackers from taking over 10,000 cars and blocking traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge forever.


The second LTE/LTE-A will be given to the user for their entertainment, work tasks. (At least this is the way I would do it to try to make the system unhackable on the safety


Here’s my point: USB 3.1 and DisplayPort will likely be throughout the auto for the rider that isn’t actually driving for productivity and play.

USB Power Delivery will be there to charge devices and to power devices. For example, the Monitor/Touchscreen will likely be a USB Power Delivery based device (if properly designed) so it can be serviced and replaced quickly. Even if Automakers choose not to use this, my bet is the aftermarket installers use USB with Power Delivery to add these screens.


I want to point out I have no inside information on this, I just think this is the logical way to proceed inside the car. Cars already have multiple USB ports throughout the car. The next step (easy) is to increase the power with Power Delivery.  Consumers and after market installers can start using it for connections.  (In the old days it could have been used for DVD players)



Did you hear about the pirates that kidnapped all the worlds lawyers?

They threatened to release 1 an hour unless the ransom was paid.


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