Is mood detection the next big thing in the automotive industry? Jaguar Land Rover seems to think so. New research focuses on AI technology to understand driver’s emotional state – and make adjustments to improve it.
Something about driving seems to bring people to react in an unusually primal way. Whether it is caused by a never-ending traffic jam or another driver’s seemingly illogical decisions, most people have experienced road rage up close.
On a more concerning note, long hours in heavy traffic can work like a sleeping pill for some. Up-to-date car manufacturers are already installing driver monitoring systems into their new models to warn drivers when they are about to put themselves and others at risk by falling asleep at the wheel. But what if a system could keep drivers from getting too drowsy in the first place?
That might be what Jaguar Land Rover had in mind when they started researching the development of an experimental mood detection system. The British car manufacturer uses in-car cameras to capture facial expressions and AI-powered software to adjust to the driver’s mood.
To keep drivers alert and focused, the system is able to take action as soon as a driver starts to display signs of drowsiness. To wake the driver up, the mood detector could lower the in-cabin temperature or put on some high-energy music.
And the next time a driver is overcome with road rage, or simply stressed, the car can adjust its settings to create a more calming environment. For example, a slightly higher temperature, softer lighting and calming music could be employed to take the edge off. This function is thought to have the potential to improve the driver experience for many people, as reports suggest 74 per cent of people admit to feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
While Jaguar Land Rover vehicles with mood detection systems are not yet in production, driver monitoring system that send out a warning to take a break when detecting signs of drowsiness are available on all Jaguar and Land Rover cars.
In the press release released by Jaguar Land Rover, chief medical officer Dr. Steve Illey looks to the future and points out how mood detection can take the experience of self-driving cars to the next level.
– As we move towards a self-driving future, the emphasis for use remains as much on the driver as it ever has. By taking a holistic approach to the individual driver, and implementing much of what we’ve learned from the advances in research around personal well-being over the last 10 or 15 years, we can ensure our customers remain comfortable, engaged, and alert behind the wheel in all driving scenarios, even monotonous motorway journeys, says Dr. Steve Illey.