Clifford Nass, founder of Stanford University's Communications Between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab, says future automobiles will boast full automation and will be centered on social media platforms.
"We're seeing all the car companies getting very, very excited about creating a much richer relationship so the car evolves into a partner that can give specific advice, from selecting a parking spot, or improving your driving skills, or drive in a more eco-friendly way," he notes.
Much of the technology for realizing this vision already exists, and CHIMe's focus is on creating an effective but non-distracting car-driver interface, Nass says. He stresses that car manufacturers have a responsibility to make automotive technology that emphasizes both safety and enjoyability. "Our job is to find that sweet spot," he points out.
Nass cites the industry's recognition of enormous demand for autonomous cars, motivated even further by the demand for social media. He says a smarter car must inform the driver of its actions, and "because the intelligence of a fully automated car is obvious and overt, it creates a situation in which drivers have to understand what the car is doing."
Nass says CHIMe researchers are studying psychological literature on team building and partnerships to help design the car-driver interface.
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