AIDA Affective Intelligent Driving Agent

The AIDA Affective Intelligent Driving Agent is a small dashboard robot created by MIT researchers. If you think you've seen this idea before in science fiction, you're right. I'll give you a hint and call AIDA a "dashboard droid".

( AIDA Affective Intelligent Driving Agent robot)

The AIDA robot project is a collaboration between the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Volkswagen Group of America’s Electronics Research Lab.

“With the ubiquity of sensors and mobile computers, information about our surroundings is ever abundant. AIDA embodies a new effort to make sense of these great amounts of data, harnessing our personal electronic devices as tools for behavioral support,” comments professor Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab. “In developing AIDA we asked ourselves how we could design a system that would offer the same kind of guidance as an informed and friendly companion.”

AIDA communicates with the driver through a small robot embedded in the dashboard. "AIDA builds on our long experience in building sociable robots,” explains professor Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. “We are developing AIDA to read the driver's mood from facial expression and other cues and respond in a socially appropriate and informative way."

“When it merges knowledge about the city with an understanding of the driver’s priorities and needs, AIDA can make important inferences,” explains Assaf Biderman, associate director of the SENSEable City Lab. “Within a week AIDA will have figured out your home and work location. Soon afterwards the system will be able to direct you to your preferred grocery store, suggesting a route that avoids a street fair-induced traffic jam. On the way AIDA might recommend a stop to fill up your tank, upon noticing that you are getting low on gas," says Biderman. “AIDA can also give you feedback on your driving, helping you achieve more energy efficiency and safer behavior.”

So why would sf fans call AIDA a dashboard droid? Here's the answer. Luke Skywalker never flew his x-wing without his faithful droid R2-D2.

(R2-D2 helps Luke Skywalker)

If you're still waiting for Audi to sell cars with AIDA, try these other automotive companions:

Take a look at this promotional video for AIDA; from MIT.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/31/2009)

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