Automakers want to adapt vehicle interiors to drivers' emotions
- Kia Motors announced it will debut an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system that will read a driver’s emotional state and adjust the cabin space, including the climate and lighting. The Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System will be introduced at this week’s CES conference.
- The R.E.A.D. System uses bio-signal recognition technology based on sensors reading drivers’ facial expressions, heart rates and electrodermal activity, based in part on Kia’s collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.
- In separate autonomous vehicle (AV) news, Aptiv announced a partnership with MIT Media Lab spin-off Affectiva to commercialize Affectiva’s human perception artificial intelligence system to "unlock deep understanding of the state of occupants in a car." The two partners will commercialize the technology for both automakers and fleet customers, they announced in a press release.
While there has been plenty of attention from automakers and tech companies on sensors for the exterior of AVs, the two announcements show how focus is now turning to the passenger experience. As AI deep learning evolves to detect human emotions, automakers can use it to customize the cabin in real-time, reducing the need for more display screens or buttons. The technology could even be used to detect if a driver or passenger is experiencing a health emergency.
"Just as perception and detection of objects outside the vehicle are critical enablers of autonomous driving, there is an increasing need for intelligent sensing inside the cabin," said Kevin Clark, Aptiv’s president and chief executive officer. "Using Human Perception AI this offering will improve safety and strengthen the ride experience."
Kia will show off several versions of its R.E.A.D. system at the CES conference in Las Vegas. Besides R.E.A.D. Me, which customizes sounds and fragrances to suit a single occupant, the automaker will show off R.E.A.D. Now, a two-person cockpit that suggests route choice and in-car entertainment based on its analysis of the driver’s mood. Visitors will also see R.E.A.D. Motion, a four-person cabin simulating a “mobile workspace,” showing how AV technology will allow people to work on the go.
Additionally, Kia will reveal its V-Touch system, which will allow occupants to control in-car features including climate control, lighting and entertainment through gestures, rather than with buttons or touch screens.
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