The AIDA project (Affective, Intelligent Driving Agent), a collaboration between Volkswagen of America and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a personal robot in your car and an intelligent navigation system that aims to bring a more pleasant driving experience. Its developers envision it as a navigation system that mimics the friendly expertise of a driving companion who is familiar with both the driver and the city. AIDA will also be able to control a variety of other features within the vehicle.
It can also learn the driver’s habits and needs by combining behavioural data with real-time feeds from onboard systems and the web. The ultimate goal, says Kenton Williams of the Personal Robots Group, is for AIDA to be able to read and respond to the drivers mood:
People tend to have this inherent bond with their cars, if you can leverage that to create a stronger bond, then we think you can make the driving experience more enjoyable…A lot of existing technologies don’t take into account the social aspect of driving, having a happy driver leads to better and safer drivers.
The final device is planned to have a whole host of features, including texting ahead if you’re running late based on your calendar, contacts and the traffic conditions, before you’ve even thought of it. AIDA could even advise you on your driving, that is, if you don’t mind a backseat driver.
Watch the video below for a closer look at how AIDA works: