California Autos Examiner

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Backseat driver moves to the front: MIT's AIDA

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Volkswagen of America are working on a navigation system with a real attitude: Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA) can smile, look sad, show warning signs, wink at you and even hand out drunken compliments (okay, I made that last one up).

View a slideshow of AIDA in action (with some bonus commentary) in this link.

The chunky little device with an expressive screen sits on the dash and can learn where you work and live, where your favorite grocery store is located, your favorite parts of town and sense your mood: Kind of like your own personal stalker. MIT claims the device will help drivers by being empathetic to their moods and assisting them in navigating their urban jungle.

Over time AIDA learns your favorite parts of town and makes suggestions based on information it is able to gather. For example, AIDA could notify you about a street fair and help steer you around it on your commute home or direct you towards it on a Saturday morning. One would hope that AIDA could differentiate between drivers, lest it confuse your predilection for strip clubs with your spouse's interest in farmer's's markets: That could be really awkward.

Enjoy a demonstration video embedded below.

For more info: Visit MIT's AIDA webpage.

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