13 Apr
AI Tech Allows Self-Driving Cars to Sense Your Feelings AI Tech Allows Self-Driving Cars to Sense Your Feelings

AI Tech Allows Self-Driving Cars to Sense Your Feelings

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Experiments involving self-driving cars have highlighted sensor and mapping technologies that evaluate what's going on outside the car. This involves the use of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, which uses laser pulses) and GPS navigation systems.

When it comes to keeping track of what's happening inside the car, industry players are exploring technology that can monitor the preferences and moods of passengers, making it possible to adjust the car's operation to better suit the occupants' feelings.

Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, a Boston-based startup working in this area, recently told Xconomy, “All of our technologies and our devices are becoming conversational and perceptual—even our car."

Since 2009, her company, an offshoot of the MIT Media Lab, has taken advantage of $26 million in funding to venture into technologies that can pick up on people's emotions. At first, the company focused on vision-based devices, such as optical sensors and webcams, that evaluated non-verbal signals as well as facial expressions. More recently, the company has embraced voice analysis software to "read" emotions as expressed in speech.

“The [semi-autonomous] car is expecting to be driving for the majority of the time, but in some cases, it might encounter scenarios where it does not know what to do and needs to hand control back to the human driver,” says el Kaliouby. “It really needs to know if the driver is awake or not, if the driver is paying attention or not. You might be in the middle of watching a movie or reading a book, but all of a sudden you need to have full context and take control again.…That trust back and forth between the driver and a car is really, really important.”

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Read 2997 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 March 2018 10:56
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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