Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA), a robot that would act as a helpful companion for drivers. The robot would be capable of picking up a driver's usual routes and regular destinations, monitoring facial expressions for signs of fatigue or agitation, using visual clues such as winking and smiling, and communicating verbally to make suggestions about alternate routes, fuel level, energy efficiency, safe behavior, and gas stations with the lowest prices. AIDA would be embedded in the dashboard and use the Internet to provide real-time information about traffic, businesses, and gas stations along the driver's route.
"With the ubiquity of sensors and mobile computers, information about our surroundings is ever abundant," says professor Carlo Ratti, director of MIT's SENSEable City Lab. "AIDA embodies a new effort to make sense of these great amounts of data, harnessing our personal electronic devices as tools for behavioral support."
The MIT team is working with Audi and the Volkswagen Group of America's Electronics Research Lab on the project.
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