Future generations of vehicles will be equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) which enables them to understand and respond to our emotional states, according to technology company Sensum.
“Transportation will never be the same once our machines know how we feel,” says Sensum’s chief operations officer, Ben Bland, in a recent blog post.
As Bland explains, a major step in the development of AI is to give it ’empathy’, allowing our physiological and emotional states to be observed and understood.
By connecting to wearable or remote sensors and feeding the sensor data into AI systems, we can train them to know how we feel and how to respond appropriately.
It might sound like a vision of the far-off future, but major carmakers like Nissan are already working on AI technology that can respond to the driver’s feelings.
Across the transportation sector, researchers are testing biometric sensors, cameras and microphones to detect:
– Fatigue and drowsiness — monitoring head or eye movements, posture or heart/breathing rate.
– Distraction — gaze detection to ensure the driver is watching the road.
– Intoxication — using infrared optics or analysing voice or breath.
– Medical incidents — detecting a potential cardiac event from a wearable heart-rate sensor.
After ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers, empathic tech could be employed to make them more comfortable, for example by adjusting the heating, air conditioning and seat position.
Taking things a step further, AI could then deliver a more entertaining ride through the onboard music and infotainment system, or perhaps by offering to increase the engine’s power output when the driver is feeling confident and happy.
“Gradually increasing the empathic capability of the system will support the evolution of the transport experience towards one that is not only safe and comfortable but also delightful,” Bland says.