Robot Riding Shotgun: Aida the in-Car Robot Companion
Developed by researchers at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab in cooperation with Audi, AIDA (Affective Intelligent Driving Agent) is a drivers’ companion that offers useful information while interacting in a “socially appropriate and informative way.” AIDA will be mounted on a car’s dashboard, where it’s “face” will be visible to the driver.
As you can see from the pictures, AIDA has its own set of facial expressions, to help it “establish an affective bond” with the driver. I guess it is more pleasing to interact with something that has a face, as opposed to talking to the air like the Hoff used to do with KITT, but won’t it become a distraction?
What I like about AIDA though is its ability to familiarize itself with the needs and habits of a driver, like one’s usual destinations, or how one drives. It will then combine that information with real-time data like traffic or weather, stuff that may not be immediately available to the driver, to give hints and tips:
What do you think? Will AIDA be a helpful companion, or a nagger that you won’t be able to kick out of the car?