WAIKALOA, Hawaii -- If a central challenge of autonomous vehicles is easing the tedium of driving without lulling the driver to sleep, it's the same challenge facing the developers of the modern minivan.
The technology on board models such as the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey can create what seems like a parent's dream: a silent cabin free of disruptions, with each passenger tuned into tablets or wearing wireless headphones, blissfully unaware of the non-Pixar landscape passing outside the windows.
Rear-seat navigation apps such as Chrysler's "Are We There Yet?" and Honda's "How Much Farther?" give the kids one less thing to nag parents about. There's hardly a reason for anyone to say a word.
That's not necessarily a good thing, says Jay Joseph, American Honda's assistant vice president for product planning.
In the context of driver distraction, "you think all stimulus is bad," Joseph told Automotive News during a media introduction for the 2018 Odyssey here. "And that's actually not the case."